Human vs. AI in VO: What a Real Voice Actor Offers Your Project that AI Never Will

by | Jul 5, 2023 | VO Chateau

OpenAI this, ChatGPT that – artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere, and it’s taking the world by a storm, even in the world of voiceover. While it’s possible to generate VO online without engaging with a live professional, the question remains if it’s a viable option. 

AI is great for a lot of uses: automating repetitive processes, analyzing data, brainstorming responses to simple requests, among others, according to Forbes. But where does it fall short? Creativity, strategy, and nuance. Anything that requires a deeper understanding beyond quickly processing data presents a challenge to AI.   

It goes without saying that voiceover is an inherently creative practice, so is AI really a good fit? Here are just a few reasons why you should still opt for the voice of a real, live voice actor. 


AI lacks emotional depth

We’re kicking things off with the most obvious reason real VO professionals beat out AI: AI falls flat in emotion and expression when compared to the voice of a human. While there have been advancements in this area, AI can’t match the genuineness of a person’s range of feelings and interpretation of the copy.

Voice actors are masters of capturing the sentiment behind words on a page. They can emphasize and downplay, they can create excitement or stir up sorrow, they can even switch tones mid-read. Why pass up on this rich experience for something more monotonous and robotic? 


AI can’t accept imprecise feedback

When using AI, you have to tell the tool exactly what you want it to do. This is called writing a prompt, and it’s not as simple as it may sound. In fact, it’s such a valuable skill to be able to craft an effective prompt that companies are paying people upwards of $250,000 annually to serve as prompt engineers. 

For voiceover AI, prompt writing entails not only writing the script, but also describing the tone you’re looking for, including specific instructions for silence and pauses between phrases, among other details. One small element of the prompt can have a huge impact on the resulting output, and if you want to fix anything, you’ll have to figure out how exactly to rewrite your prompt in a way that AI will understand. 

With a real voiceover professional, however, you can listen to their take and provide feedback in whatever way makes sense to you. Simply put, you can be yourself. And if the talent needs any clarification, they’ll ask! Collaborating with a human is much more efficient, and fulfilling, rather than trying to reason with a machine. 


AI doesn’t have ‘common sense’ 

Almost every AI system we see today is based on machine learning, which means it “learns and improves performance based on the data it consumes,” according to Oracle. It’s easy to compare to the human brain, taking information we’re presented with and drawing conclusions from it, but Forbes says it’s more accurate to think of machine learning as a statistical method. 

The issue with knowledge that comes from a statistical method? AI isn’t able to solve problems it has never encountered before, nor is it able to incorporate context into its responses. It doesn’t have the common sense a human has to approach a new situation and use prior knowledge to proceed. 

In voiceover terms, this means AI doesn’t have a grasp on sarcasm, irony, satire, or any other concepts that cause words to take on a meaning beyond the surface level. It also doesn’t easily understand regional variations like dialects and accents. Sure, AI can produce voiceover in hundreds of languages – but to your audience it will sound straight out of Google Translate, with inaccuracies and an impersonal, inauthentic dialect, as opposed to the authentic sound of a multilingual voice actor

Using AI means all quality assurance will fall on you alone because it won’t know how to double check itself. But with a real voiceover professional, you can relax knowing they understand how to truly communicate and resonate with audiences. 


AI isn’t memorable

To close out, AI falls short of human voice talent because it isn’t unique, special, or original in the way voiceover artists are. Each artist has their own signature sound and style that sets them apart from the pack, and with the many artists out there to choose from, there’s definitely one that will fit your voiceover vision. 

All the AI voice generation tools that are available to you are also available to everyone else, including your competitors. While it may be cheaper and quicker to put your script into AI, consider the fact that your message won’t stand out from the rest. It’s worth the time and resources invested to find a voice actor who will take your brand to the next level. 


Ready to find the right real voice for your next project? Email a short description of what you’re looking for to Aya, our Head of Casting, at She’ll get back to you the same day with custom auditions and a quote to fit your budget. 


Cut through the robotic white noise of today’s AI-saturated world with the expert talent at the VO Château.