This article was originally published in the CampaignTech Newsletter on August 6, 2021
Ad Makers Will Test Artificial Intelligence Voiceover Artists
Voiceover artists have long been the backbone of compelling political ads. But artificial intelligence is now gunning for their jobs. And some political ad makers are pretty excited. Dean Petrone, CEO of Go BIG Media:
"The immediate benefits of AI voiceover are a combination of speed, cost, and pliability — finding the right voice can oftentimes be a burden on deadlines, budgets, or both; whereas AI voiceover is at your fingertips and usually accessible for pennies on the dollar."
But Maria Pendolino of Blue Wave Voiceover thinks we’re still some way off from AI replacing human artists:
"The technology to create synthetic voices marches forward and has been getting better. I think it still lacks a truly "human" essence… I don't think the technology is quite there to be as nimble as an actual human performer."
Petrone, though, isn’t so sure:
"In short order, any inherent advantage human VO might currently hold, will be supplanted by inevitable advances in artificial intelligence."
The key question: Even if it does take more time for AI voice to get as good as its human competitors, does AI voice actually need to be as good as human talent to start capturing a lot of the work that human artists currently do? Pendolino:
"Any producers that currently turn to freelancing sites that favor cheap & fast service due to time constraints or budget constraints and are happy with a voice artist that is ‘good enough’ — I think those folks are more likely to turn to AI voices as a cost cutting measure in the nearer term."