Voice Over AI is Coming, but is it Human Enough?

Change is hard. And change is definitely coming to the creative industries. Will you be embracing it and making it work for you, or are you still hoping it all goes away?

When I started working in audio I was recording to tape and editing with a pencil and blade. I was pretty thankful when digital editing became an affordable option, allowing me to work for myself, from home. It was creative, liberating and exciting. And I was no longer covered in cuts.

The next big shift is here with AI. 

It’s not perfect yet, but the output you can achieve with some time and care is pretty remarkable.

Once we accept that there’s no stopping it, we need to ask ourselves how we can best utilise it. 

Right now, I’m looking at ways to make choosing me for a project easier for my potential clients. That might be a quick and easy way to audition my sound with your project script – at any time, night or day. Or an affordable and flexible way to use me for a pitch campaign. 

Now, clearly, I didn’t try very hard with this sample and had a good laugh at it getting its knickers in a twist with all those double-u-double-us. It doesn’t really sound like me, and I’ve deliberately encouraged it to be a bit unpredictable. But with skill and a not-inconsiderable amount of time, it could sound very good.

And I think this is where the human element remains. We instinctively know how to add nuance, humour, a raised eyebrow, or a pause. These don’t have a recognisable pattern, and a light touch can alter the meaning of an entire sentence.

Right now, AI can give you a really valuable demo, but it’s a human that is going to work with you to interpret your ideas, subtle cues, and that seemingly incomprehensible direction (which, honestly, I love, that dance of finding the sweet spot is part of the joy of an interaction). 

AI is coming, but only humans can add the human-ness.


  1. Mark Thomas on November 30, 2023 at 4:23 pm

    Great article Natalie, and something that is worrying me I’ll be honest. AI is getting better, but we’ve still got the edge at the moment.


    • Natalie Cooper on January 18, 2024 at 4:47 pm

      I think things have moved on since I wrote this, but still, when you’re listening and get past about the 30 second mark you’ll begin to feel a nagging sense of unease. It’s fascinating, because it sounds right, but it doesn’t feel right, and humans feel things, this remains our super-power.

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