Speech to Text vs Text to Speech: Differences and Possibilities
The onset of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has opened up a world of possibilities in the areas of communication, content creation, and content marketing.
Speech to text and text to speech software, in particular, have a wide range of practical applications that are helping consumers and businesses solve real challenges.
While free text to speech software exists, businesses prefer to leverage professional and versatile software that comes with support and features, resulting in labor, effort, and cost savings. But more on this later.
First, let’s understand the difference between speech to text and text to speech applications.
What is Speech to Text?
Speech to text is a type of software that facilitates the transcription of audio speech into text verbatim. Essentially, a computer program uses linguistic algorithms to capture and transfer signals from spoken words into text.
For example, several apps today enable speech to text features on your smartphone. They can be used while listening to a lecture or capturing speech to text in a video interview.
Today, even video conferencing apps offer a close captioning option, which uses speech to text. This makes it possible for attendees with hearing difficulties and other limitations to access all conversations.
Practical uses of speech to text also include dictation on the go, turning speech into editable essays, reports, and posts, and documenting conversations.
What is Text to Speech?
Text to speech software, on the other hand, enables the creation of audio output from text.
It originally started out as a kind of assistive technology that enables a device to read digital text aloud. However, text to speech has evolved significantly over time to become more sophisticated in its delivery as well as outcomes.
For instance, while free text to speech applications help turn text to audio in a functional way, professional text to speech software enables it to be done using voice AI. This feature opens up a plethora of content creation and marketing opportunities.
Use Cases for Text to Speech
Text to speech software has several practical uses in the consumer and business world. Shifts in consumer behavior are nudging businesses to invest in text to speech software to build content and communications.
- Millions of content creators and business experts are uncomfortable with launching their podcasts, which limits engagement with their content, especially when presented in the form of long articles. By using text to speech software, they can turn long-form articles into audio formats that help expand their reach and engagement and achieve new business goals.
- Millions of consumers do not have a reading habit and prefer listening to content while traveling and multi-tasking. The popularity of audio content has grown, and text to speech software is facilitating this revolution.
- A large number of adults today want to reduce screen time for themselves as well as their children. Audio formats now enable them to listen to stories, “read” long-form articles and books, and consume podcasts, instead of continuously watching content on a screen.
- Audio content serves the purpose of accessibility and inclusion, empowering consumers with seeing limitations, accessing content, and businesses to engage with these consumers.
Benefits of Voice AI
The introduction of voice AI is enabling businesses to leverage text to speech technology for several outcomes:
- Instead of spending marketing dollars on hours of recording and production time, businesses can invest in building AI voices that have a unique identity.
- AI voices can perfectly mirror a corresponding human voice and be used any number of times to generate fresh marketing and operational content.
- AI voices are typically stored on secure servers owned by your text to speech software partner, and you can access them from the AI voice library at any time.
- A superior text to speech software also lets businesses use AI voices to create content such as videos, presentations, and e-learning formats, among others, at scale. Scalability is a major challenge for businesses, especially in a fast-paced digital world where content is generated every nanosecond.
- With AI voices, the content creation life cycle drastically reduces, empowering businesses to take campaigns to market faster.
How Text to Speech Software Works
The first step is to program the AI voice until you are satisfied with how it sounds. Voice AI technology allows you to customize all aspects of the voice – pronunciation, pitch, volume, and emphasis on select words.
Being able to program such nuances means that AI voices do not have a robotic quality about them. In fact, it is often difficult to tell the difference between the AI voice and a human voice.
Once the AI voice is ready, you need to feed the text to the studio editor, which will take a few minutes to create the speech content using the AI voice.
Speech content can be edited any number of times to create an impact on the final output. You can also add additional layers such as music and effects, before rendering the final product.
A Wide Range of Creative Formats
Businesses are leveraging text to speech and Voice AI to build content for several content formats that need voice inputs. These can include:
- AI-enabled Interactive Voice Responder (IVR) voices to create voice prompts and greetings for IVR, contact centers, and automated telephonic applications.
- Turning ad scripts into Spotify ads.
- Building professional product demos, explainers, and YouTube videos using high-trust, engaging AI voices.
- Curating advertising voice overs for audio and video ads keeping brand sentiments in mind.
- Creating narrator voices for audiobooks.
- Adding complementary voiceovers to business presentations.
- Building a catalog of voiceovers for E-Learning and educational content.
- Curating an AI voice for podcasts.
The text to speech revolution is growing, and by 2026, it is estimated to boom into a $5B industry.
Companies that are investing in building their signature AI voices early on can seamlessly leverage text to speech for decades. This shift will translate into significant labor, effort, and production costs.
The key is to partner with the right text to speech provider that offers continual support, top-notch security for AI voices, an ecosystem for team collaboration, and a seamless user experience when creating content.