It seems like each day, we hear a new story about how voices built with AI can be used for good (for example, for making education more accessible and engaging) and also for more nefarious purposes (such as, for impersonating someone without their consent).
These issues are front and center for our voice actor program because WellSaid voices are built from the voices of real people.
Have you noticed, for instance, that our synthetic voices include breaths, and that some of our voices speak faster than others?
In those moments, what you’re hearing is the complexity and the quality of the voice data our talented voice actors recorded for us.
LEARN MORE: How Voice Avatars Are Built (webinar replay)
Relationships Are Key to Ethics
We maintain strong relationships with talent who work with us, and protecting the privacy of our voice actors’ identities has been a top priority for us from the beginning.
For example, at WellSaid we:
- Represent our synthetic voices with stock images and invented names in Studio. We never use any real images or names of the talent that record with us.
- Even within WellSaid, our voices are referred to by their Studio names. Only staff members who interact directly with our voice actors have access to the actors’ names.
- Encourage actors not to publicize their involvement with WellSaid Labs on their professional websites, social media accounts, etc.
- Don’t offer self-serve options for users to build their own synthetic versions of any voices.
More Steps to Protect Voice Actors
We also encourage WellSaid actors to explore strategies they can take to further protect their privacy, such as:
- Exercising caution about how and with whom they share their association with WellSaid Labs or other synthetic voice companies.
- Reduce or remove any mention of their affiliation with WellSaid Labs, or the name of the synthetic voice we made with their data, from their professional website, social media accounts, portfolios, etc.
- Reconsider the use (if any) of vocal passwords for their accounts (including but not limited to financial, medical, and social media accounts).
Why Privacy Matters
It might seem strange for a young startup to ask voice actors to keep their association with us private. After all, we want to spread the word about the quality and capability of our product to as many potential customers as possible.
We’re also very proud of the voice talent we get to work with, and of our voice actor program. Why go through these extra steps to keep this great work hidden?
For us, this was an easy decision.
Being mindful of privacy is a key tenet of WellSaid’s commitment to operating ethically, and the success of our work with actors depends on our ability to build and sustain trust with the voice talent community.
Stay tuned for future posts about our voice actor program, and the unique choices we’ve made to honor WellSaid actors as professionals.