Life in the age of 'mechanical reproduction'
Closing in on my 20th audiobook, I am mindful that "human" narration is in jeopardy, as advances in AI/ML accelerate exponentially.
But it is my hope that a large number of authors and publishers will see their titles as deserving of more than an automated reading. And that the majority of titles not being narrated today may benefit from AI, including archives, journals, textbooks, manuals, and all kinds of materials on bookshelves today that would otherwise remain in print- or screen-only versions.
As voice actors we shouldn't begrudge scientific progress, but there is no reason to forsake the warmth, personality, and consciousness of a human narrator in a quest for upscaling the audiobook industry. What stands to be lost in an echo chamber of repackaged snippets of human voices is nothing less than our collective humanity.