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AI voice-overs in VO category


smashradio
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I've noticed several sellers offering AI voices in the voice over category lately. In my opinion, this type of service should be in its own category. It has nothing to do with hiring a voice over actor whatsoever. It's a text to speech tool being used. 

I think this can potentially hurt the category, since it will probably be flooded with 5 dollar AI voices soon, if this is allowed to continue. 

I don't view AI voices as competition, but I certainly think it can hurt the reputation of Fiverr as a voice over platform. If I was a buyer looking for voice overs and got a bunch of AI voices in return when searching, I would view Fiverr as being unserious about it's voice over category, and look elsewhere. 

I fear that lots of buyers will think the same - at least the ones who care about quality. 

What do you guys think? 

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5 minutes ago, surajkartha said:

Ya a sub category makes sense.. considering that I might prefer a human VO actor versus AI ones.. 

Exactly. And if you'd prefer to spend 5 bucks on a horrible AI voice because your budget was really low, you could easily find that too. 

I think it can hurt the reputation in the industry even more. Fiverr already has difficulties managing its perception by many voice over talents. I know another voice over platform that was previously taken seriously, who is now the laughing stock of a big portion of the industry because they are doing research into AI voices as an alternative to real actors. 

These are two entirely different categories, and shouldn't be mixed. 

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3 minutes ago, smashradio said:

Exactly. And if you'd prefer to spend 5 bucks on a horrible AI voice because your budget was really low, you could easily find that too. 

I think it can hurt the reputation in the industry even more. Fiverr already has difficulties managing its perception by many voice over talents. I know another voice over platform that was previously taken seriously, who is now the laughing stock of a big portion of the industry because they are doing research into AI voices as an alternative to real actors. 

These are two entirely different categories, and shouldn't be mixed. 

Exactly, that part about perception management is so true.. And sadly that's not just confined to the VO space.. I do hope they get around that, the sooner the better.. Btw just to see where the AI is at, I've bought a couple of VO tools in the past year.. and the lack of passion, energy and emotion is obvious.. attached one that I generated just now lol.. 

new1.mp3

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1 minute ago, surajkartha said:

Exactly, that part about perception management is so true.. And sadly that's not just confined to the VO space.. I do hope they get around that, the sooner the better.. Btw just to see where the AI is at, I've bought a couple of VO tools in the past year.. and the lack of passion, energy and emotion is obvious.. attached one that I generated just now lol.. 

new1.mp3 124.84 kB · 1 download

God, that hurts. It hurts! 

I've seen some tools that are better than this one, though, but they are nowhere near what a real voice over actor can do. You can never get the human intuitive understanding and personality from an AI - at least not with todays tech. 

It doesn't deserve to be in the same category as industry professionals with years of acting experience and gear for thousands on dollars. 

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Just now, smashradio said:

God, that hurts. It hurts! 

I've seen some tools that are better than this one, though, but they are nowhere near what a real voice over actor can do. You can never get the human intuitive understanding and personality from an AI - at least not with todays tech. 

Agreed.. Moreover, imagine the number of people who are left offended because their names were mispronounced 😂

6 minutes ago, smashradio said:

It doesn't deserve to be in the same category as industry professionals with years of acting experience and gear for thousands on dollars. 

Amen to that.. 

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2 hours ago, smashradio said:

@newsmike what's your opinion on this?

This should be given the same (lack of) respect on the platform as translators who don't speak the language, but just run text through Google Translate.  Instead of putting it in a separate category, I view it more as below a level of quality that fiverr should even allow on its platform.  This all goes to fiverr's image problems, and their seeming attempt to fix them. Fiverr should be where you hire talented freelancers, not use AI gimmicks.  I agree that this won't ever hurt my business, it is just more clutter, clogging up the algo, allowing buyers to get lousy results and tarnishing further the image that you get quality results on fiverr. I'm pretty sure that 25,000 new VO "artists" just signed up today from a certain location that will remain nameless.

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3 hours ago, newsmike said:

This should be given the same (lack of) respect on the platform as translators who don't speak the language, but just run text through Google Translate.  Instead of putting it in a separate category, I view it more as below a level of quality that fiverr should even allow on its platform.  This all goes to fiverr's image problems, and their seeming attempt to fix them. Fiverr should be where you hire talented freelancers, not use AI gimmicks.  I agree that this won't ever hurt my business, it is just more clutter, clogging up the algo, allowing buyers to get lousy results and tarnishing further the image that you get quality results on fiverr. I'm pretty sure that 25,000 new VO "artists" just signed up today from a certain location that will remain nameless.

I contacted support about it, explaining this very concept. The dude promised to let the right people know. Somehow I doubt if anything will be done before it's too late. I agree AI voices shouldn't even be on the platform, but they won't deny them the pleasure of ruining even more bad Youtube videos. Even so, it should never have been allowed in the voice-over category. 

The issue I have is that it will hurt Fiverr, and by extension, my business. Even if I don't have to rely on Fiverr for business, I get a good portion of my work here. 
And if buyers stop coming here because they associate Fiverr with shitty AI voices, that would be sad. Perhaps I'd better talk to my SM about getting that Pro application filled out. 

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Just now, theratypist said:

What does it sound like? Does it sound like anything worthy of a purchase? I can imagine those Tiktok videos with robotic voices that read the text and it doesn't sound too good.... 

Check the file that surajkartha posted a in this thread.

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5 minutes ago, smashradio said:

Perhaps I'd better talk to my SM about getting that Pro application filled out. 

Probably not a bad idea. If they are to ever really decide to handle the image problems they will need to create an entirely new site. They can slice out the PRO and TRS gigs and offer them exclusively on Fiverr Business, and leave the circus attractions on the $5 platform. 

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I don't think it will be impactful for professional voice actors. We have lots of people selling templated videos, or templated logos, and that doesn't make a dent on the people doing videos and logos from scratch. Or copywriters vs AI copy.

I would be more worried when (not really if, but when) the AI voices get to the level of being undistinguishable from humans. It will happen eventually. Same deal for AI produced logos, videos, copy, etc. That will be a challenge. Hopefully that's far enough in the future that I can retire by then. But If I had to bet, I would say copywriting would be the first to fall, followed by V/O. They are the easiest problem to solve via machine  learning of all the areas I mentioned.

Edited by visualstudios
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1 minute ago, smashradio said:

Check the file that surajkartha posted a in this thread.

"A-ha-ha" 🤣 To be fair it sounds better than the male robotic voice I had in mind.

8 hours ago, surajkartha said:

Exactly, that part about perception management is so true.. And sadly that's not just confined to the VO space.. I do hope they get around that, the sooner the better.. Btw just to see where the AI is at, I've bought a couple of VO tools in the past year.. and the lack of passion, energy and emotion is obvious.. attached one that I generated just now lol.. 

new1.mp3 124.84 kB · 3 downloads

A-ha-ha. That could be my ring tone. Hahahaha.

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8 minutes ago, newsmike said:

They can slice out the PRO and TRS gigs and offer them exclusively on Fiverr Business, and leave the circus attractions on the $5 platform. 

And take the opportunity to change the name. Fiverr is a terrible name. It's just fiver but misspelled, but calling it Fiver doesn't make sense anymore either way. That's one of the little details that annoys me, why can't the name of the platform be good. Upwork - good name. Uber - good name. Airbnb - good name. Fiverr? Come on, people.

Edited by visualstudios
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1 minute ago, visualstudios said:

And take the opportunity to change the name. Fiverr is a terrible name. It's just fiver but misspelled, but calling it Fiver doesn't make sense anymore either way.

And since they are a public company, the keep the revenue from the new vetted site (rebranded of course), as well as the carnival midway. 

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12 minutes ago, visualstudios said:

I don't think it will be impactful for professional voice actors. We have lots of people selling templated videos, or templated logos, and that doesn't make a dent on the people doing videos and logos from scratch. Or copywriters vs AI copy.

I would be more worried when (not really if, but when) the AI voices get to the level of being undistinguishable from humans. It will happen eventually. Same deal for AI produced logos, videos, copy, etc. That will be a challenge. Hopefully that's far enough in the future that I can retire by then. But If I had to bet, I would say copywriting would be the first to fall, followed by V/O. They are the easiest problem to solve via machine  learning of all the areas I mentioned.

Difficult to compare the two. You have to compare it to people selling animated gifs vs 4K intros. That's where we're at, in my opinion. If you had thousands of automated gif generators in your video editing category, would you be ok with it? 

I'm not very worried about the AI voices getting undistinguashable from humans, because it's the intuitive understanding of the script, the message, the idea, and years of training behind what a VO do (hopefully). I don't think it's going to happen in our lifetime. It will get near to a place where you might not be able to say "that's a robot", but the listener will certainly react to it being "flat". 

So let's say you want to sell a product. You really need a great, engaged and trustworthy voice that sounds like he/she really believes in what they are saying. You go to some AI voice generator. The result will be less sales, because the voice just wasn't engaging. 

And lots of untalented people will buy those voices. And then wonder why people aren't engaging with their videos. 

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1 minute ago, visualstudios said:

I think you're underestimating the tech. I'm fully confident we will have fake actors, CGI, that are indistinguishable from real actors in a decade or so. Voice is trivial compared to that.

If we're talking about not being able to point at the voice and say "that's a robot", then yes. But an AI voice that can create that "human connection"? Doubtful within our lifetimes. 

It's not too dissimilar from photo realistic renders. They have gotten very good. You have to look closely to spot the errors. But you feel it. You feel like there's something that's just not quite right

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The uncanny valley, yes. But I'm confident we will go over that hump in the near future. Tech is exponential. I guess we will see what happens. I'm talking feeding your voice sampled into a machine, and being able to make you say anything I want, with any intonation I want, based on the source data. That will happen eventually, it's unavoidable. And this is pretty easy to see - your voice, when recorded, is digital. It's a series of 0's and 1's. So it's possible to replicate it perfectly, to the bit, from scratch. So it will be totally indistinguishable, it's the same thing, objectively. The challenge is how to do it. But we're getting nearer and nearer.

Edited by visualstudios
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4 minutes ago, visualstudios said:

The uncanny valley, yes. But I'm confident we will go over that hump in the near future. Tech is exponential. I guess we will see what happens. I'm talking feeding your voice sampled into a machine, and being able to make you say anything I want, with any intonation I want, based on the source data. That will happen eventually, it's unavoidable. And this is pretty easy to see - your voice, when recorded, is digital. It's a series of 0's and 1's. So it's possible to replicate it perfectly, to the bit, from scratch. So it will be totally indistinguishable, it's the same thing, objectively. The challenge is how to do it. But we're getting nearer and nearer.

Yeah I've seen Adobe do something like that. I don't like it, but who knows - ,maybe we'll all go obsolete in a few short years. Editing, voice overs, web design, it could all get automated. 

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Yeah, it's just a matter of some things being easier or harder to automate. The less "creative" something is, defined as the scope of what can be done differently given the same input, the easier it will be to automate. "Art" will be harder to automate than technical stuff.

Edited by visualstudios
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1 hour ago, visualstudios said:

I think you're underestimating the tech. I'm fully confident we will have fake actors, CGI, that are indistinguishable from real actors in a decade or so. Voice is trivial compared to that.

Isn't Keanu Reeves a bot, or is that Nick Cage? 

Edited by newsmike
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