A young boy recording his voice using a microphone and pop filter.

AI Voice Generators, For Free

If you use social media today, you probably come across multiple videos with the same voice over artist explaining what’s unfolding on the screen. The voice might be sophisticated, but the script is forced, poorly thought out, and the grammar might be wrong, making the script’s emphasis strange and incorrect. What’s really happening here? The Voice Over was generated by an AI voice generator. While it might sound easy, cheap and fast, the end result is a video that has no identity of its own, and one that easily gets lost among the thousands of videos that are uploaded to social media every single day. If you are building a brand that is intended to last, that’s the opposite of what you want.

The truth is that many of these videos are actually just money grabs, and the videos themselves are just throwaway Media that was never intended to last. You on the other hand might be planning to create and build a brand that endures for decades. If you are, AI voice generators are not the answer to your solution.

Free AI Voice Generators

As free text-to-speech engines and AI Voice Generators proliferate, with them being integrated into multiple apps on our phones, computers, and web-apps, it becomes harder to resist their use. Yet, to build a distinct brand, it feels wrong to use the same voice as a multitude of your competitors as well as others in other unrelated industries, and niches.

The convenience of quick access to a voice over is attractive, AI Generated voices have become less attractive as they become more repetitive and less distinct. Brand stewards now have to weigh convenience against the authenticity of a human voice over artist, with a less prolific, but more distinct voice.

In the long term, which do you think would lead to better brand recognition? In my opinion, the short-term gains of using an AI voice aren’t enough to off-set the long-term harm that using a generic AI voice in your brand material.

Audience Perception of AI Voiced Content

With artificial intelligence creating almost realistic human voices, will we know what is real?

A brand is what the audience deems it to be. Investopedia says “A brand is an intangible asset made up of many elements. Together these elements help consumers identify a product and give them reasons to buy it rather than its competitors.”

The various elements like logos, brand colours, and other brand identifiers come together to create an impression of what a brand stands for in the minds of the consumer. The use of voice is also part of this. Recent surveys show that AI tools like AI voices don’t have the audience vote of confidence.

So, it becomes clear that humans trust human voices, and they trust humans to represent a brand that can be trusted.

The Future of AI Voices

At the beginning of this trend, a number of smaller brands resorted to using AI voice generator text to speech tools, to create a mass of quickly produced videos for a wide reach! The initial rush of views by an unsuspecting audience has since turned to resignation and distrust as the AI voices have become easily identified by their intonation, and frequent reuse. As already noted, this does not make of great trust signals. But what of the future?

AI Voices have evolved quickly. A year or two ago they were significantly more ‘robotic’ and ‘computerised’. Today, the voices have been trained extensively on the live recordings of actual voice actors who have contributed (given away?) their legacy to AI companies. AI generated voices will continue to expand in scope, and quality. This is inevitable. Will they one day become completely indistinguishable from human voices? What then, is the benefit in actually using a human voiceover vs an AI voice if the audience will never know?

Why Use a Human Voiceover? Brands That Endure

As someone with integrity once told me why they were painting an area that will never be seen: “But I will know”. It stands to reason that brands with integrity will continue to do what’s right for the customer to be able to trust them now and in the future. These are the brands that endure.

So, What’s The Verdict?

In a world of proliferating, AI content, it is the human content, the human emphasis, the human emotion that makes the difference and that will make your video script stand out from the rest. Today, in 2024 and in the near future, human voices are still distinct and distinguishable from AI voices, and so a brand that wants to be true to their customer will try to use human voice overs to reach out and connect with their audience.

It’s a foolish ‘penny-wise, pound-foolish’ mentality that will result in people using AI voiceovers. However, the future is a little more obscure at the moment. The brands that truly wish to connect with the audience will understand that human voices are more than just sounding human. Human voice overs are human, and humans do more than just ‘sound’ human.

You may use an AI Voice Generator for free, but what is the real cost in terms of trust and brand image? Time will tell.

The writer of this article is obviously ‘human’. I’m an “Indian voice over artist”, who records English content for Indian and Foreign brands that need an authentic Indian accent for their content to reach out to their audience. My name is Susheel C, and you can read more about me at this link.

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