Modern technologies have become an integral part of our lives, or in other words – our new reality. We, as humans, and our society, have come a long way from living completely offline, to the way we live today – being constantly online, 24/7. But not only the first computer was made in the nineties. When the internet showed up on the tech stage, nothing was ever the same. The internet was part of the complex process that revolutionized the world, and is still revolutionizing the way we function, think, work, socialize, date and workout – in other words, almost every aspect of our lives.
However, it seems like this was only the tip of the iceberg, since the Internet allowed the enormous expansion of multiple other technologies that have started growing simultaneously, creating tectonic changes in science, business and economy. One of them is, most certainly, artificial intelligence.
But what is artificial intelligence anyway? You have probably heard certain discussions about whether artificial intelligence is a threat or a benefit, and whether it is going to become harmful for us – will our jobs become irrelevant and will our normal lives completely change for the worse. Since this is an ongoing discussion, we have no other options but to trust the process. Still, the vast majority of information about AI is mostly just speculations, comments and gossip. This is why it is so important to go at least a bit deeper into the topic.
That being said, although it’s hard to define something that is so diverse in use, and so complex by its structure, simply put, artificial intelligence is a system that combines several elements such as computer science, smart machines and machine learning. As the name says it all, the main goal of artificial intelligence is to mimic human intelligence, but that’s not the only purpose nor the only job it has to do. AI has to finish certain tasks much faster than the human brain, saving time for other more complex tasks that cannot be automatic. Simply put, this is a system that has to perform certain tasks that would usually require us, humans, to do it – with at least as much, if not better and faster performance. Not all tasks that artificial intelligence is used for are highly complicated; the vast majority of them is or could be called boring, because it involves certain rules and steps that are repetitive, and don’t require any creativity nor understanding.
However, just like everything else, artificial intelligence is growing every day, and it is not growing slowly, but progressing at a fast pace, and therefore, it’s being integrated in more and more pores of our lives, jobs, and the world around us.
We know that artificial intelligence makes our lives easier in numerous ways by saving our time when something that is repetitive needs to be done, but what happens when artificial intelligence starts threatening to replace us as workers? Can we become useless, along with our education, careers and additional knowledge and skills? And finally, could machines become smarter, more intuitive, faster in the execution of tasks and more creative than us? This is more than a scary question, but you should know that it is there for a reason.
One of the careers that are currently being threatened by artificial intelligence is the career of voice actors. What are voice actors and what is their job?
According to murf, if you ever watched a commercial, played a video game and heard the voices of video game characters, heard or seen an ad, then you’ve certainly had a chance to hear a voice actor or several actors. But that’s not all, voice actors have a crucial role in movies and cartoons, whether they are Blockbusters or documentaries. One of the hottest topics right now is the question of whether The Simpsons will replace the voices of their main characters with artificial intelligence voices. This question commenced a discussion and has exploded in the media since it clearly shows that there is a tendency to use AI instead of real humans even when it comes to voice acting.
Normally, the next step was fear. Fear that so many voice actors immediately felt, when they’ve heard that it can become possible to lose their jobs due to artificial intelligence usage. Although the AI industry is currently worth several billions of dollars, it is expected that this industry’s value will grow 10 or 20 times more in the next couple of years. Knowing all of this, it could be said that voice actors will no longer exist, but they are rather going to become a part of the past. However, what’s the situation in reality? Can artificial intelligence really become as equally successful in the movie industry, as real human voices? Can they express emotions or change tonality the same way as real people?
Luckily, the answer is no. No matter how hard people try to develop such successful systems, computers could never replicate such a thing as human emotion or human intonation. Considering this fact, this is great news for voice-over actors. While some things can be done with the help of artificial intelligence and some voiceovers can also be done without having to involve any humans, it’s important to mention that for movies, high-end commercials and cartoons such as The Simpsons, AI can never be a good choice.
Just imagine some essential elements of voiceovers such as breathing noises, sounds that don’t involve just speaking of words, internal changes and other factors that are a normal part of our everyday speech, and especially voiceovers. All these things will maybe become successfully mimicked by robots, 5, 10 or 20 years from now, but at the moment, it sounds pretty unimaginable. Every person on the Earth has its unique voice, and that voice has millions of tiny changes and specific details in it. This is one of the reasons we know how our loved ones sound, even when there are hundreds of people around us, we can recognize their voices.
The technology is not developed enough to be able to replicate all of that; for now, computers that use artificial intelligence can create voices and voiceovers that are at least monotone and emotionless. They can be great for certain types of tasks, but one thing is sure – they are human-like, but they can never sound like real humans.