Nothing can compare to listening to an engaging audiobook read by someone like Stephen Fry, George Guidall, or Juliet Stevenson.
Will humans remain the most adored storytellers in the future or will robots eventually take over?
According to the Daily Mail, Apple believes there is a demand for books narrated by artificial intelligence because it has quietly released a number of them.
This new feature is just the beginning of the fierce competition that Spotify and Amazon will face in a market that, according to experts, could be worth more than $35 billion (£29 billion) by 2030. Other competitors include Amazon and Spotify.
Apple’s artificial intelligence voices sound robotic and artificial, so they won’t replace Stephen Fry’s warm, dulcet tones anytime soon. However, as technology improves, they may eventually sound more human.
On Apple devices, robot-voiced audiobooks that use text-to-speech translation can be found by searching for “AI narration.”
This displays a list of romance or fiction books that can be downloaded for free or for a fee and are “narrated by computerized voice based on a human narrator.”
There are two distinct AI voice types to choose from; both speak only English and have an American accent.
Jackson is a baritone while Madison is a soprano; However, non-fiction publications will soon have access to Helena and Mitchell, two additional voices.
According to the outlet’s report, the tech giant claimed that it used its sophisticated speech synthesis technology to create high-quality audiobooks from ebook files.
Those in favor of AI-narrated audiobooks believe that it could open up a new market for publishers and authors who were previously unable to finance the transition from print to audio.
Since Apple claims that digital narration technology will make it easier to write audiobooks, this could lead to a significant increase in the number of audiobooks that readers can choose from.
The Guardian asserts that Apple inquired about the interest of independent publishers in working together on the project.
Despite keeping its involvement a secret, the company is said to have informed authors that the company behind the technology would cover the costs of converting their novels into audiobooks and that they would receive royalties.
Apple’s website also states that publishers and authors can still create additional audiobook editions.
Audible takes a different stance on automated narration than its rival Amazon, whose regulations specifically state that submitted audiobooks “must be narrated by a human.”