Audiobook sales have been surging in recent years. They provide an easy way for consumers to immerse themselves in a story or learn new information while multitasking, whether it's during a commute or while doing chores around the house. For popular platforms like Amazon, Google and Apple, audiobooks have become a lucrative business, but the time and costs associated with producing human-narrated audiobooks have often created challenges for growth.

Recently, CNBC reported on the coming trend of AI human-voice clones for audiobooks, a trend that could revolutionize how audiobooks are created, and the types of books that hit the market. While there is no doubt that the human voice is unique and carries significant nuance and texture, AI technologies are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and platforms like Amazon, Google, and Apple are eagerly scouting ways to make use of them.

AI-generated clones of human voice talent provide several benefits to publishers. First, they can expedite the audiobook production process. The software can be programmed to read texts and record audio automatically, reducing the costs and time involved in contracting a human narrator.

Second, AI voice clones can expand the scope of audio production by giving publishers access to voice talent that might not otherwise be available. Suppose a top-tier narrator is unavailable or too expensive. In that case, AI-generated clones could be programmed to mimic a similar vocal tone and reading style, potentially broadening the range of titles and authors that can be produced as audiobooks.

Moreover, AI narration can lend itself well to non-fiction genres such as academic texts, scientific papers, and technical guides. While these genres might have challenged human narrators to retain readers' attention, some AI-generated voices might provide the dispassionate, robot-like voice quality that better suits their formality and technical jargon.

In conclusion, the growing popularity of audiobooks is unlikely to subside any time soon. As the demand for easily consumable content increases, AI-generated clones of human voice talent may become a key part of the audiobook production process. While there are some concerns about the impact that this technology could have on the industry and job losses for human narrators, the benefits that it brings regarding costs, efficiency, and accessibility make the case for its widespread adoption in the future.

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