Apple uses AI to narrate audiobooks instead of a narrator

In recent years, the development of artificial intelligence has continued to cause concern. Indeed, as these algorithms evolve, there is concern that some AIs will become good enough to replace humans. And when it comes to reading books for audiobook production, it’s almost happening. Apple is now offering artificial intelligence, or more accurately synthetic voice, to authors to make it easier to produce audiobooks for Apple Books from their works.

“Many authors, especially freelance authors and those associated with small publishers, are unable to create audiobooks due to the cost and complexity of production”can we read on a page of the firm addressed to the authors. “Apple Books digital storytelling makes audiobook creation more accessible to everyone, helping you meet growing demand by making more books available to listeners.”

And currently, the first audio books narrated by the synthetic voice of Apple Book would already be accessible. They are accompanied by the mention “Narrated by Apple Books”. Moreover, this program should have been launched in November, according to The Guardian. But due to the context in the tech world (layoffs at Meta and takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk), the launch would have been delayed.

A still limited launch

Currently, Apple’s program does not convert all books into audiobooks using its artificial intelligence. Indeed, it is still only available for books in English, and for certain categories. One of Apple’s conditions is that “main must be romance or fiction (literary, historical, and women’s novels are eligible; mysteries and thrillers, and science fiction and fantasy are not currently supported).”

The 4 synthetic voices offered by the firm have names. Madison and Jackson for fiction/romance, and Helena and Mitchell who will later be available for non-fiction and personal development. As far as the quality of these voices is concerned, they provide good listening comfort, but they do not, however, equal the voice of a human.

Apple says it’s not a threat

In any case, if the use of an AI instead of human narrators worries, from the point of view of Apple Books, this should allow the company to beef up its catalog by adding new audio books. The market, meanwhile, is growing. In addition, Apple claims that its artificial intelligence is not a replacement for professional narrators, but a complement, making it possible to convert a greater number of books to audio format.

“Apple Books remains committed to celebrating and showcasing the magic of human storytelling and will continue to grow the catalog of human-told audiobooks”, assures the firm on this subject. And just for information, Google Play Books also offers a tool to generate audiobooks without a human narrator. His tool already supports the language of Molière.

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Apple uses AI to narrate audiobooks instead of a narrator

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