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AI and Audiobooks
#1  PTM1580 02-25-2019, 02:20 PM
Hey guys, as a publisher we are looking to expand our Audiobook offerings, but the barrier for us is the cost of voice actors and we are doing research on whether or not there are any viable AI alternatives at this point.

I'd love to hear from Audiobook lovers if they:

1) Have experienced an Audiobook recorded entirely in/with AI.
2) What was the experience like?
3) Would you do it again?
4) Are there any great AI options out there for producing audio books?

Thanks all.
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#2  CRussel 02-25-2019, 02:57 PM
Not even VAGUELY interested in artificial narrations. A major part of the value of a good audio book is the narrator, and a good narrator can take a good book and turn it into a great book. A bad narrator can take that same good book and have me asking for a refund. And if you took the time to read threads here, you'd notice that we discuss both our favourite narrators, and the ones we hate.

To directly answer your question, I did try Amazon's text-to-voice on my Kindle for a book I was familiar with. I lasted about 10 minutes and then completely disabled t2v.
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#3  PTM1580 02-25-2019, 02:59 PM
Wish the forum had a "like" button. I am unaware of any current implementation of AI voices used for Audiobooks, that's what I'm trying to find out. There is promising technology out there and perhaps, much sooner than later, it will be more commonplace, but as an avid Audiobook consumer, the voice acting is a big draw for me as well.

However...

This is coming.

Tacotron 2

Samples are pretty amazing.
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#4  pwalker8 02-25-2019, 08:46 PM
Quote PTM1580
Wish the forum had a "like" button. I am unaware of any current implementation of AI voices used for Audiobooks, that's what I'm trying to find out. There is promising technology out there and perhaps, much sooner than later, it will be more commonplace, but as an avid Audiobook consumer, the voice acting is a big draw for me as well.

However...

This is coming.

Tacotron 2

Samples are pretty amazing.
Consider why they still use voice actors in animated movies. If people didn't care about the quality of the voice actor, they would simply use one of the numerous text to voice programs.
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#5  Tarana 02-26-2019, 10:11 AM
I am both an audiobook listening and a text-to-speech listener and I honestly would not PAY for an AI narrated book. Why, when the best out there isn't much better than Amazon Fire's current text-to-speech?
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#6  ApK 03-04-2019, 03:15 PM
It would have to pass an Audiobook Turing Test: If I can tell it's a machine, I'm not interested. If I can't tell it's a machine, then there's no point in asking. Just give the AI a nom-de-plume, like Albert Innis or something , and don't tell me. Then I'll either like the "narrator's" performance or I won't, as with any human narrator.
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