Audiobooks – An Under-Served Market For Artificial Intelligence Voice Text And Voice Solutions – Forbes


Artificial Intelligence

Sergey Tarasov –

I am not a fan of audiobooks, but I understand that audiobooks are a rapidly expanding market opportunity. Grand View Research predicts a USD $15 billion market by 2027. The problem with meeting or exceeding that expectation is in the challenge of producing significantly more audiobooks. Artificial intelligence (AI) can provide technology that can streamline audiobook production and meet the constantly increasing demand.

While the demand for audiobooks is increasing, production of audiobooks faces many procedural challenges. Companies are creating more ebooks, but a quick glance at them shows that formatting is still a challenge. Consider that the challenge of producing ebooks from print books is trivial compared to the creation of audiobooks. An ebook doesn’t have to understand context or characters, but a person reading the text does. Digitization is also much faster than it take for a person to read a book. Even after the reading is recorded, significant editing might still be required. That is why estimates for the professional creation of an audiobook tend to be in the thousands of dollars, with a minimum of $2-3k and average of $5-10k.

That means many publishers focus only on what they expect to be best sellers, and they will have a large inventory of books they can’t afford to record.

There’s also the question of accents and languages. What is the cost of creating customized versions of books for different parts of the US, where a publisher might think a book would sell best? Even more interesting, what about words with different pronunciation in different places? Versailles is pronounced very differently when referring to a place in Kentucky than it is when referencing the famous palace in France.

For many production reasons, Speechki is a company focused on addressing the audiobook market. They are using AI and people in a coordinated fashion to speed the process of audiobook creation. The early step is to move past the simple digitization of the book used in creating ebooks. “Artificial intelligence is needed when text is first read,” said Dima Abramov, Co-Founder & CEO, Speechki. “Different characters need to be identified, intensity of voice suggested from text context, and other key information to make a better reading experience must be identified.” It’s not only a digitized text that is documented, but metadata is also created in order to drive the voice recording.

The company then uses AI to manage over fifty different American accented English voices, and more than 200 voices for other accents and languages. A rough audiobook can then be created in very short order, including using different voices for multiple speakers.

At that point, the human proof listeners work within the system to correct and adapt issues. For instance, this early technology doesn’t identify genders, ages, and other particulars of characters. The …….


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