Move over, Siri: Apple’s new AI voice sounds like a human

Apple has developed a new feature within the Apple Books app – AI Narrators. In addition to having real people narrate audiobooks, the app now also gives you the option to have your books read to you with digital voices that sound like human narrators.

What exactly is artificial intelligence (AI)?

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Artificial intelligence is computer systems simulation of human intelligence processes that include learning, inference, and self-correction. AI technologies are being developed and used in various applications, including natural language processing, as Apple does, robotics, and expert systems for various industries and purposes.

Why does Apple use AI voices for narration?

Apple decided to take this step to give those books from smaller publishers and lesser-known authors a chance to list their books on the platform. Audiobooks are a platform for major novels and publishing companies that have the budget to make them.

The company has reached out to independent publishers over the past several months and has given them a chance to have their audiobooks read by AI narrators. The agreement was that they would bear the cost of the digital recordings while paying authors fees on sales, and some publishers agreed.

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With the addition of this new feature, more publishers will have the opportunity to publish their books, and readers will have access to a greater amount of content.

Is there a downside to having AI narrators?

The first and perhaps the biggest argument being made against AI narration is that some worry that this might eliminate the use of human narrators. Audiobook narration has become a huge industry for VoiceOver artists and actors, especially since the beginning of the pandemic.

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However, since it costs much more and takes longer to create an audiobook with a human narrator, Apple and other big tech companies may choose to start using AI.

It will mainly depend on how readers respond to having an AI-generated voice for them, as many people may still prefer hearing the liveliness of a human narrator.

Another argument being put forward is the sense of low quality control. It’s always been safe to assume that the books made into audiobooks are probably some of the best out there, considering the amount of time and money that goes into creating them.

However, with the use of AI narration, all that time and money is no longer a concern, and practically any book (be it good or bad) can be turned into an audiobook.

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It’s great for publishers who want to get their books out and don’t have the means to do so. However, that may remove the special status of having a work of literature that is “good enough” to be produced as an audiobook.

How can I listen to these AI narrators?

  • Open Apple Books Implementation

First, open the Apple Books app.
(Kurt Knutson)

Go to the Apple Books search icon.

Go to the Apple Books search icon.
(Kurt Knutson)

  • write in “Narrated by Apple Books.”
Here is where to find the books listed.

Here is where to find the books listed.
(Kurt Knutson)

  • you will get existing Of all the books in the app narrated by Apple Books
Books in the app narrated by Apple Books.

Books in the app narrated by Apple Books.
(Kurt Knutson)

What do you think of artificial intelligence? Will it make our lives easier…or should we be worried that this is the beginning of the end of humanity as we know it?

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