The voice is like a fingerprint, it has harmonic components, tone or pauses. It gives you a personality, a bond, a unique memory. The voice is regaining prominence thanks to the use we make of it to communicate with a virtual assistant or Artificial Intelligence. In the not too distant future, AI is likely to learn certain nuances and be able to excite with its voice as humans do.
Recently the Telefónica District auditorium was attended by Mr. Liuhuabing, entrepreneur and pioneer of the audiobook in Spanish, which in turn has been the protagonist of the number # 111 of TELOS magazine.
In this session he accompanied him Ms. Carrie Zheng, Director Global of Telefónica Aura, to talk about the importance of the voice in the natural language processing and Artificial Intelligence.
Juliana has been working for more than fifteen years in the world of the audiobook or, in other words, the narrated book. A world in constant growth and in which the voice is one of the most relevant factors. ” At the moment, the voice distinguishes us as humans, ” says Juliana. The secret when reading a book to the listener is narrate it from emotion. This is when the process of immersion in an audiobook begins. “The voice being something so old has suddenly become very modern. This is because it has been given spaces that it did not have before as entertainment, ” he says”
On the other hand, the rhythm, the pauses, the shortness of breath of a machine reading does not develop the story well nor does the viewer follow the story well. An emotional component is needed. So depending on the product being developed, the machine works better or not.
Unlike the time people spend listening to audiobooks, the user who consumes the Aura virtual assistant, available in 8 countries, speaks a few seconds and looks for immediate answers.
“We do not want the user to spend an hour talking with Aura, but to facilitate the digital relationship with Telefónica in a quick and easy way. Aura speaks with an artificial voice and adapts to the particularities, accents and expressions of each country,” said Irene.
Juliana said that, little by little, artificial voices are being tested in audiobooks and that, in the not too distant future, it is likely that AI will learn certain nuances and be able to excite with its voice as we humans do.
Another handicap of artificial voice for the audiobook industry is costs. There is still a lot of editing to do, and that makes the process more expensive. This means that a voice of a human actor and an artificial one have the same costs today, and in the end the client always prefers a human voice to listen to an audiobook, which is what excites us for the moment.
What will the future hold for us in the field of voice? We don’t know when it will come, but we do want to enjoy the opportunity to build a future where machines speak and make us feel like the human voice does.