Apple says it does not want to replace voice actors with Apple Books digital narration. Instead, the tech giant wants to help bring “audio to as many books and as many people as possible.” It further claims that it remains committed to “celebrating and showcasing the magic of human narration and will continue to grow the human-narrated audiobook catalog.”
Apple says it is not trying to replace voice actors with AI digital narration for Apple Books
At the beginning of January 2023, Apple quietly launched a wide selection of audiobooks with full narration, all of which lacked human narrators. The audio was completely produced by artificial intelligence in place of voice actors.
More and more book lovers are listening to audiobooks, yet only a fraction of books are converted to audio — leaving millions of titles unheard. Many authors — especially independent authors and those associated with small publishers — aren’t able to create audiobooks due to the cost and complexity of production. Apple Books digital narration makes the creation of audiobooks more accessible to all, helping you meet the growing demand by making more books available for listeners to enjoy.
In a new support document, Apple says that it is not trying to replace voice actors with digital narration. Instead, it wants to increase the number of audiobooks that are available on the market.
Digitally narrated titles are a valuable complement to professionally narrated audiobooks, and will help bring audio to as many books and as many people as possible. Apple Books remains committed to celebrating and showcasing the magic of human narration and will continue to grow the human-narrated audiobook catalog.
Apple’s help page continues, stating that there are currently two voices produced by artificial intelligence. Madison is the voice of the adult woman, Jackson is the voice of the adult guy, and they are both speaking US English. As of right now, digital narration is only available for two genres: fiction and romance. Apple’s nonfiction and self-development narration program is also kicking off and will be available more widely in the future.
Apple is working with two publishing partners, Draft2Digital and Ingram CoreSource, for its AI-read program.