Will AI replace dubbers?

An Israeli start-up has recently presented a revolutionary technology with which artificial intelligence would be able to dub films and TV series dialogues using actors’ original voice. In this way the faces of our favorite actors, from Russell Crowe to Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman, could finally be associated with their real voice in all those countries, except America and the United Kingdom, where dubbing is an essential part of cinema distribution. 

The company’s name is DeepDub, and it is based in Tel Aviv. It was founded in 2019 by brothers Ofir and Nir Krakowski, respectively CEO and CTO. Their goal is “to bridge the language barrier and cultural gap of entertainment experiences to international audiences”. By using artificial intelligence and deep learning algorithms, the start-up would offer localization services, i.e. translation, dubbing and adaptation into the desired language. And it would do it in record time, without compromising the quality of the content. Such an innovation would therefore drastically reduce both dubbing costs and time. Currently, it can take up to two or three months to complete the entire translation and dubbing process of a film. According to the company, their new technology would allow to do so in just a couple of weeks.

During an interview with Indiewire, a site covering news related to the film industry, Deepdub’s chief marketing officer, Oz Krakowski, explained how it works. “Basically, you give it an audio track of a video or movie or series. Ideally, the voice in the audio track is isolated. If not we have to go through and isolate the audio, which is something we can do. The deep learning machine learns the traits of the voice, like pitch, timber, the speed, the spacing, and intonation of the words.  It learns and registers them and can then apply it to new voices. We can take a voice and add or take away an accent or alter it to give it emotions or make it sound younger or older. It gives us the ability to take a voice and apply it to a different language”.

Deepdub aims to close deals with big streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and others in the future, putting artificial intelligence at their service to localize their content and ultimately increase their expansion. Suffice it to say that for example a third of Disney+ subscribers lives in India, and therefore giving them the opportunity to watch films in their native language would be a further opportunity for growth.

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