When football commentator Alan Smith’s words echoed out, “Messi shoots - it’s a goal!” as Argentina’s star player slotted home a penalty against France in Qatar last December, fans listening in on Veritone’s YouTube channel may have assumed Smith was reacting to the match live.
What listeners actually heard was Alan’s AI-generated voice clone providing real-time commentary from the live match’s analytical data. The project, developed by Stats Perform and powered by Veritone’s AI technology, lets fans listen to live game updates from a professional commentator on any device in local languages.
It’s hard to fathom, but this is just one of the many ways that generative AI is helping media, entertainment and other industries create more engaging content that can connect with audiences anywhere in the world.
Generative AI also allows companies to more effectively scale content to engage increasingly diverse, multinational audiences. For those looking to further monetise content distribution, it’s a significant opportunity.
Powering the creative engine
Voice cloning offers several applications for content creators. It can be used to narrate scenes or correct audio in post-production without the actor coming into a studio to record it themselves. It also has the potential to transform the dubbing and
“You can use it for dubbing in an actor’s unique voice in different languages,” says Ashley Bailey, director of product marketing for AI voice at Veritone. “You could have Kevin Costner’s voice, the way he speaks, his inflection, his tone, but in Spanish, Italian, French or whatever language to bring a more authentic experience to audiences.”
The same can be said for podcasts, where AI can open up new markets by transposing a host’s voice into different languages.
While AI can clone any voice, doing it ethically is critical to the medium’s success. A Danish production company recently worked with Veritone on a documentary about a reality TV star that had passed away. They wanted his voice to narrate the programme, highlighting the legal issues around this application of AI.
“You absolutely need to get sign-off from the person you’re cloning,” says David Candler, senior director of customer solutions at Veritone. “If they are deceased, you need permission from their estate and the IP owner of the voice training data to ensure that it has the rights to reproduce the voice.”
There are two main ways that AI can generate cloned speech: text-to-speech or speech-to-speech. “Using a speech-to-speech model where you speak in, and their voice comes out, you’re capturing the intonation, speed, emotion. It’s frighteningly accurate,” says Candler.
Voice cloning can even allow companies to create new advertisements by brand ambassadors in multiple languages without them having to participate in additional recording sessions.
“You can transcribe a campaign, translate it into multiple languages and create additional ads and assets at a scale that we can’t do on our own as humans,” says Bailey. “So, it goes way beyond having generative AI help you with ad copy to actually creating campaigns.”
Scaling audience reach and revenue growth
Given the vast content archives that most companies possess, AI helps them discover and enhance their existing assets to expand both audience acquisition and revenue growth.
Content continues to grow exponentially. More content is uploaded to digital platforms in 30 days than what the major US TV networks broadcasted over the previous 30 years. In this climate, organisations that don’t adopt AI to assist in optimising their extensive archives could be leaving bigger audiences (and money) behind.
According to Accenture, nearly a third of AI pilot initiatives are scaled beyond their initial scope to deliver outcomes across the business. 42% of those surveyed determined that the return on their AI initiatives exceeded their expectations last year.
Savvy investments now can bring recurring value, giving businesses more mileage out of their content and streamlining their operations by harnessing AI to replace time-consuming manual tasks.
“For starters, media companies can use AI voice models to produce foreign language versions of their back catalogues, helping expand their distribution footprint globally,” Candler explains. And AI algorithms can also help them search through their archives faster, making it easier to find monitisable content.
“A media and entertainment business may have millions of assets that it can potentially monetise, but unless you can find them, you can’t activate them,” says Candler. “With Veritone’s AI-based archive licensing service, for example, we can very quickly lift specific moments from vast archives and then sell them to documentary filmmakers, agencies or networks. It takes far too long to manually sort through the content to find what you are looking for.”
Working side-by-side with human creators
Using generative AI, a large language model like ChatGPT can be built for a specific brand, which can then deliver relevant content and ideas.
“All of the generative AI components would be very specific to their domain,” says Bailey. “It can take all the data of a content rights’ holder and provide content recommendations and campaign recommendations on the back of that.”
Although some content producers may be fearful of AI replacing them, these innovations are designed to support humans in their roles. With generative AI content, humans will still need to go in and edit what has been produced.
“For our voice work, we partner very closely with the voiceover community. It’s not about taking jobs away–we augment human ability,” says Bailey. “It helps content creators keep up with content demand, allowing them to connect with global audiences in a more authentic, personalised way.”
As people and machines collaborate more effectively, generative AI can create operational efficiencies, improve audience experiences, and make new revenue streams available at scale.
The message is clear: AI doesn’t make better content; it makes content better.
For more information visit veritone.com/generativeai