Bloomberg To Use Synthetic AI Voices to Dub English Content into Spanish
Expanded reach using AI
Bloomberg announced recently that it had partnered with Papercup to localize hundreds of hours of English video programming into Spanish. Papercup’s AI dubbing product transforms the content using synthetic voices. According to Bloomberg:
“The partnership will feature AI used to translate and dub Bloomberg’s global news coverage, financial market analysis and documentaries. The localized content is anticipated to reach millions of viewers in the next year, allowing Bloomberg’s high quality content library to reach previously untapped audiences.”
This use case is a perfect example of one of the two key benefit drivers of synthetic media: hyper-automation. The expense and time associated with re-recording hundreds of hours of content in another language is substantial. For a fraction of that cost and time, AI dubbing can transform the content automatically. Bloomberg highlights this point:
By deploying its bespoke systems to create expressive synthetic voices specifically suited for video, Papercup generates engaging translated content that outperforms subtitled offerings and can be delivered at a scale and price that traditional dubbing struggles to match.
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Bloomberg reports that Papercup has already used its AI-powered dubbing to reach “over 300 million people in non-English speaking territories.” This is the type of content that would never get translated (i.e., localized) due to the cost. Using automated localization technology is a way to leverage an existing information asset to reach a wider audience.
This also aligns with the company’s larger mission “to ensure that reliable, trustworthy news can reach as many people as possible,” according to Travis Winkler, General Manager, Video and Audio, Bloomberg media.
Value to the Listener
Jesse Shemen, CEO of Papercup, said earlier this year that “People retain up to 70% more information when watching videos dubbed in their native language,” as compared to reading subtitles. Papercup also provides multilingual subtitling for videos.
The emergence of AI dubbing solutions such as Papercup and Google’s Aloud (N.B. still in beta) is a reaction to this clear benefit, along with advances in speech-to-text, automated translation, and the creation of more humanlike synthetic voices. It is the simultaneous improvement in all three of these technologies that have made the use cases viable.
Synthetic media sometimes is used to create entirely new content, and other times it is simply modifying existing content into a new format. Localization falls into the latter category and will be more and more attractive to companies that want to extract more value from each asset they produce, along with harvesting new value from their catalog of spoken language content.
Papercup is already working with several large publishers, including Sky News, Discovery, and Insider. The company announced a $20 million funding round earlier this year and has raised over $30 million to date.