In the classic of the pop song Zagar & Evans In the year 2525, the duo sang a year where “a machine does this for you”.
Voice over actors, welcome to the future. A company called Sonantic created what he claims to be the first vocal artificial intelligence models that sound truly human and capable of expressing “a wide range of complex human emotions, from fear and sadness to joy and surprise” .
Game producers like Obsidian Entertainment, Splash Damage, and 4A Games are already on board with the technology, which is used from development to post-production. The concept is similar to CGI for audio. Human, realistic voice technology is in its infancy, but with this brave new frontier, there is a new opportunity for voiceover artists to store their words for future use.
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Actors interested in creating voice models spend a few hours in the studio recording various lines of dialogue unrelated to client scripts. Sonantic records the performances of actors and uses proprietary deep learning algorithms to augment the data captured from their voices to create voice models. The AI has been trained to match any style of voice, so it doesn’t need an actor to record every word or phrase.
Actors can then generate passive income whenever their voice models are used. The earnings are in the form of profit-sharing, according to the company, which may raise a few eyebrows among Hollywood connoisseurs, given its history. SAG-AFTRA declined to comment on the methodology.
Sonantic claims its artificial intelligence model saves time and money by avoiding the traditional production logistics of booking studios, planning, travel, and more.
“The important point is that it will increase the way an actor currently works,” a company statement said. “Just as CGI hasn’t cut cinematographic jobs, Sonantic won’t cut acting jobs either. If anything, actors have more opportunities, as they can now work virtually and in person. The in-person roles will always be important because the raw performances are so compelling to us as an audience.