Computerized Voices? Will we become Hal?

by | Digital Audio, Technology, Voiceover

My talented vo guy friends, Dave Courvosier and Chris Wagner have recently probed the “synthetic nerve” in their respective blogs on synthetic voices created by computers.

Bottom line, will the technology replace the human voice…and voice actors?

If you haven’t already done so, look at this intelligent, well-researched article by Courvo. You can even link to audio examples. Then be sure to chase this great reading with a dose of Chris Wagner’s reality, “Computers are Stupid.”

I love technology, but given the fact that the human voice can deliver the same line in a myriad of ways,  and vocal placement,s I have my doubts. And then there’s the practical question of costs.

It was another busy day in the studio, but a whole lotta fun, being creative funky and and sassy for one read, and sultry/upbeat for another, plus others in-between.

Ciao for now. Grey’s Anatomy starts in 3 min.


  1. Personally speaking, it creeps me out with the synthetic voice, because you know there’s no “feelings” on it. But, if others are open then, why not. I go for what’s the majority think is good, but it doesn’t mean that I agree. I would just respect that.

  2. Did you know most text to speech engines prohibit the distribution of audio files created with their software? (from AT&T Truevoice laboratories) “Audio clips created here may not be broadcast, published, or distributed. It doesn’t matter if the use if non-commercial. Any such use requires licensing”

    It can be very expensive to use text to speech software. But the effect of a synthetic voice is perfect for computer based training, as long as it isn’t narrative.

    I’ve actually found that a real human voice in a GPS unit more distracting than a synthetic voice if that makes any sense. I want computers to sound like computers.

  3. Shawn, thank you for the interesting opinion, and the TTS link from AT&T. How can computers using a human voice sound like computers? Easy. I’ve done it. I’ve played the voice of a computer in a government video presentation. Just sound slightly stilted. But of course one must keep up with the technological trends and advancements in the cadence of the computer voice. I must admit the technologoy is getting closer….but no cigar! lol

    It has no soul.

    Best, Bobbin

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