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AI Voice overs - Do they work?

We now have a new player in the voiceover market - synthetic voices. This is

where a human that was once a real voice (or many of them) has been

analyzed, sampled, put through a washing machine, de-humanised into a

virtual robot, then put on a platform where you can enter text and make it

speak without paying too much money, if indeed, anything. Clever? well,


Does it work?

Well, if you don’t like working with humans it offers a cheap off the shelf

solution. And, some Ai voices have been proved to be highly convincing,

especially down a phone line. I have tried one of the better companies to

clone my voice, just as an experiment. 5 weeks after much cloning, it churned

out some really strange sounds for me. In fact, my King Charles impression

really foxed it the most, and for some totally unfathomable reason, it decided

my King's English should sound more like a Texan cowboy. LLM's have been

known to hallucinate. That report will be published in a later post.

But, let's be business like, if a robot could do my job, and all I would need to

do is feed a 10,000 word script into the machine, let it do the talking, whilst I

sit back with a bottle of wine and charge you for a good day’s work, then we

are all happy.

But, it simply doesn’t work like that.

The modern salable synthetic voices have only been cloning and forging

away at their digital art for about 6 years, whereas us humans have been

yakking away for 300,000 years and back in the paleolithic era, effective

physical and instinctive communication meant food, and more importantly,

survival. My take on this is that we have evolved enough to know when

something is instinctively not quite right. But, the darker forces of Ai, are more

worrying. And, its this perpetual problem of copying and storing everything

you feed to it, which brings me onto something most businesses should be

aware of... privacy.

Can Ai be truthfully private or confidential?

No, of course not. Not if the robot is programmed to learn at the speed of

light. If you are a business, (or an individual for that matter) privacy is still the

big concern when using an Ai voice. Its always copying your information....

and storing it.

As a former contractor to the UK’s SAS (Special Forces), part of my job was

Top Secret, and as such, I had to sign the Official Secrets Act by HM

Government, or else face quick termination at gunpoint. So, I do know a thing

or two about keeping things secret. Most of our blue-chip corporate

customers have grafted hard and long hours to come up with new designs,

many carrying World-class patents. I have often been asked to voice strictly

confidential company information.... and keep it shtum. But could Ai do that?

Let me give you a scenario: to save some money, Acme A1 marketing team

decides to use an Open Source Ai platform as their voice for an internal

presentation about ideas, funding strategies, costs, contacts, and generally

very private stuff. Its all in aid of a new product, and they don’t want everyone

(including their competitors) knowing about it on the socials, or at least not


Meanwhile, the Ai platform Acme is using decides it has enough voice

information to make itself salable to the public, so it sells out on the open

market to the highest bidder, along with all the personal information its

gathered so far – remember robots are busy gathering every drop of

information you feed them.

Sadly, the marketing team at Acme A1 are blissfully unaware all their private

information has been stored in the North sea somewhere, and has now been sold onto a new company (who is considering fragmenting to maximise profits) so that they can capitalise on the robot’s vast memory bank of information.

What's the solution?

If Acme A1 had been sensible, they would have hired a real voiceover, then,

once the job had been signed off, a human would have deleted all the private

contents, scripts, audio files, etc. Their innermost secrets for the company

internal presentation would have remained intact, and not being churned

somewhere into gold nuggets, ripe for picking off.

At the VoxBox, we take privacy very seriously. We even offer to swear on

oath by signing an NDA/privacy agreement for eternity, but most firms do not

bother, because they know our word is our bond. And, it is!

The moral of this tale…

If you want your audio to remain truthfully ‘internal only’, trust a human voice;

for a start, it will sound much more convincing than a robot, and the concept

of ‘Mum’s the word’ will be properly understood, and implemented.


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