Artificial intelligence (AI) has come a long way and it is beginning to creep into the creative arts. AI can now imitate the human voice and the world of eLearning and instructional design is starting to utilize it. So should one use a human voice or an AI voice for an eLearning project? Let’s look at both sides and explore the advantages and disadvantages.
Using a computer-generated voice has it’s advantages (forgive me my human voiced friends). It’s very cheap to generate and you can have the computer say whatever you want, on demand.
But the drawback with AI is that it doesn’t sound perfect. It sounds like what it is and that may be a deterrent for your audience. It may make your audience tune out completely and your message will fall on uninterested ears. So while AI can save you a ton of money on your budget, it may haunt you and your client may not wnnt that voice telling their story.
I’m in the camp of human voice (since I am a voice actor, full disclosure). I’ll start with the disadvantage of hiring a human voice for your project. They can be very expensive and hard to work with. That being said, humans are tuned to listen to other humans. We’ve been hearing stories told by a human voice since infancy. Therefore, your audience is programmed to listen to a human voice and will be your direct line to getting through to your target audience. So while a human voice can cost some money, it seems like it would be worth the money if the goal is to reach your end user. This seems especially pertinent if you’re delivering an important message like safety training.
So there you have it. The choice is entirely yours (or maybe your client). AI seems convenient and quick, but the human touch may still be the dominant choice in delivering your eLearning content.