It is not that easy to say whether human narrators are better or text to speech tech. It is better to consider the pros and cons of each of these solutions. We can consider three main measures in our comparison. Cost, quality and time.
TTS is the winner in cost comparison, as one can convert 10 articles of 10,000 characters each (about 40 - 60 minutes of audio) by Artivle’s regular package of only $20, whereas hiring a voice talent for narrating up to 5 minutes of duration starts from $275, which is more than 10 times higher than TTS!
Even considering the latest technology of text to speech conversion, there is a gap between human voice-over and TTS voice quality. There is still room for improvement to add inflections and warmth of human voice to the engine produced voice. With this said, in many cases the requirement of the user is met in TTS tech. The main purpose is to convey a message to the audience.
From the time to find the right voice actor, listening to their samples, negotiating for an agreement and the process of recording, voice-over narration can take about 24 hours for a 5 minute narration. On the other hand, the conversion of text to speech in TTS engines of a 700 word article takes only 1 minute. Adding the time for choosing the voice and testing the voice on your own text, time frame does not go beyond 5 minutes for a 5 minute audio file of your text. So, obviously, TTS is less time consuming.
In conclusion, it can be said that although TTS voice lacks the intonation and warmth of the human voice, its advantages in cost and time can make it a reasonable option when there is a constraint in budget and time frame.
What do you think? In what cases can TTS substitute human voice? Please share your thoughts.