February 14, 2022

AI Narration on Audiobooks

Shannon Maughan, on publishersweekly.com:

Proponents of AI audiobook narration tout its much lower production costs (compared to a traditional recording of a human narrator) as a way to improve profitability of audiobooks as well as allowing publishers to publish more audiobooks that have limited audiences. But according to actor and narrator Emily Lawrence, cofounder of PANA and president of its board of directors, It’s very easy to reduce this issue to dollars and cents, but it’s very complicated and nuanced.”

I recognize the concerns of technology decimating your sector, but this reminds me of The Candlemakers’ Petition. Mind you, my favorite audiobooks are those read by the author, so I buy into the complicated and nuanced argument. But with the narration improvements in apps like Matter, I see the use-case where you switch to AI audio in the middle of reading.

It seems like an uphill batter to fight AI narration as-a-feature. However, they have succeeded in the past.


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