The multi-billion dollar audiobook market may be significantly impacted by tech giant Apple’s covert launch of a library of books read by artificial intelligence.
According to The Verge, the function signals a significant change in audiobook production, which now entails writers narrating their own books, a process that may take weeks and set publishers back thousands of dollars.
The function is reportedly only accessible for romance and fiction novels for now, with two digital voices now available (Madison and Jackson) and two more (Helena and Mitchell) on the way for non-fiction books, according to Apple’s website.
Audiobooks Are AI-Narrated
According to the source, Apple is particularly fussy about the kinds of books its artificial narrators may read, and the service is currently only available in English. According to the business, “We’re starting with fiction and romance, and are seeking ebook submissions in both genres.”
The website states that the “main genre must be romance or fiction” and adds that “literary, historical, and women’s literature are eligible; mysteries and thrillers, as well as science fiction and fantasy, are not currently supported.”
Users will find a number of romantic novels with a brief notification stating that they are “Narrated by Apple Books” if they search for “AI narration” in the Books app. Each audiobook using the company’s digital narration service states, “This is an Apple Books audiobook narrated by a computer voice based on a human narrator.”
The article noted that there are both free and commercial audiobooks available and that the artificial voices are about as excellent as consumers would anticipate—perfectly understandable but without the warmth of a real narrator.