Artificial Voices

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Abstract

Rendered orally, audio description, audio subtitling and audio introductions serve as an essential resource for blind and partially sighted users to understand audiovisual content. Voice, as a means of information transfer, allows the audience to become immersed in a story and enjoy it. The use of voice – be it artificial or natural – should therefore not be neglected. The idea of artificially recreating the human voice has been around for at least two hundred years and with the evolution of technology artificial voices have not only become almost natural sounding, but also indispensable, especially in day-to-day contexts. This chapter presents a state-of-the-art panorama of the application of artificial voices to accessibility services. On the one hand, the chapter describes the technical and linguistic aspects of creating accessibility services with artificial voices for different kinds of platforms, such as cinema or scenic arts; on the other hand, it provides an overview of reception studies that focusses on exploring users’ experience with artificial voices for audiovisual productions. The chapter concludes with a reflection on the potential of artificial voices to be implemented on a wider scale as a time and cost-effective alternative to traditional media access services provided by human voices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Audio Description
EditorsChristopher Taylor, Elisa Perego
ISBN (Electronic)9781003003052
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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