AI companies are trying to replace voice actors, and they’re asking for help from voice actors to do it

One of the main concerns about artificial intelligence has long been that it will kill jobs by taking over work that is currently being done by humans. Such fears are heightened by the exploding interest in generative AI-enabled tools essays, pictures, and music through a simple text prompt. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a buzzy chatbot introduced a few months ago, is the prime example, but there are many more.

So far, workers have not lost their jobs because of these devices. But many fear that day is not far off – just ask the voice actors. There are already AI tools that can make a famous voice seem to say anything with little effort on the part of the user. Last month Microsoft researchers SHOWS is a text-to-speech AI tool that can mimic anyone’s voice after being fed three seconds of audio of them speaking.

this week, Rest in the Worlda nonprofit publication covering technology “beyond the Western bubble,” reported on AI dubbing companies that hire Latin American voice actors to train their algorithms—with an eye toward eventually replacing voice actors like those used in commercials, cartoons, movies, news features, etc.

But in this case, the loss of jobs is not only theoretical. as Rest in the World reports, it happened. The publication interviewed Argentine voice actor Alejandro Graue, who discovered last month that an AI-generated voice had replaced him in a self-improvement video. the YouTube channel he used to record voice-overs.

Graue recalls a technician at the channel telling him that using AI voice would be cheaper than paying his rates. Graue fired off an angry tweet aimed not at the AI ​​technology, but at the voice actors who help train such tools: “Thank you to all the actors and actresses who lend their voices to the production this shit that will eventually give us all. it’s old.”

One of the voice actors talking Rest in the World, who asked to remain anonymous, described the “marathon” recording sessions in which he participated. “A lot of the time, they made us record a lot of words and loose letters in different styles and tones.” Another said they were asked to sign agreements that prevented them from acquiring any part of a company’s proprietary “voice bank” in the future.

Graue told the publication that he has also been offered gigs training algorithms in his hometown of Buenos Aires, starting a few months ago. “When they offered me the gig, they told me that I had to record 10,000 words and they would pay me 10,000 pesos. [about $52 at the official exchange rate].”

Among the companies offering AI dubbing in Spanish are Tel Aviv-based Deepdub, which focuses on movies and TV shows, and London-based Papercup, which specializes in nonfiction content such as news from BBC, according to Rest in the World.

Of course, voice actors aren’t the only professionals struggling with the changes in their field brought about by AI

American sci-fi magazine editors Clarkesworld recently has stopped accepting story submissions after realizing that many of the recent submissions by the writers were, in fact, done by AI Other professors BAN the use of ChatGPT in the name of academic integrity, while others need it because they consider knowing how to use AI to be an emerging skill. JPMorgan, for its part, recently told employees to use ChatGPT there is no limit.

The example of voice actors in Latin America is, perhaps, how workers are directly affected, although some voice actors collaborate with AI dubbing companies that put their future work at risk.

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