Digital desktop, San Francisco. Tech giant Apple has quietly launched a catalog of books narrated by artificial intelligence, with potentially huge implications for the multibillion-dollar audiobook industry.
As The Verge reports, the feature represents a major shift in audiobook publishing, in which authors narrate their own books, a process that can take weeks and cost a publisher thousands of dollars.
According to Apple’s website, the feature is currently only available for romance and fiction books. Two digital voices (Madison and Jackson) and two more voices (Helena and Michelle) are available for nonfiction books.
We are starting with fiction and romance and are accepting e-book submissions in these genres, the company said.
At the moment, the service is only available in English, and Apple is unusually picky about the books its digital storytellers can read, according to the report.
If users search for AI Narration in the Books app, they’ll find a series of romance novels with a little notice saying they’re narrated by Apple Books.
This is an Apple Books audiobook narrated by a digital voice based on a human narrator. Each audiobook listing reads what the company’s digital storytelling service uses.
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