WOMAN+ Uses AI to convert text to Voice

AI converts to voice quickly

WOMAN+ prides itself on offering a diverse and all-embracing digital home for women in New Zealand. Building a welcoming community for like-minded women means thinking broadly about all women and what their needs may be.   

“We definitely know women are multitasking constantly,” says Melissa Platt, GM of Digital and Content, “they often don’t have the time to stop and read so we wanted to make our content accessible in multiple formats.”  

A few months ago, WOMAN+ began using AI to transcribe written text into audio – not just for their community of busy women on the go, but also to cater for their community who may have access needs.  

“My dad was an avid reader,” says Elisabeth Ric Hansen, School Road Publishing’s Business Director, “but when he lost his vision to Macular Degeneration in his sixties, I saw first-hand how losing the ability to read affected his life and his mental health.” 

Rebecca McDonald from All is for All, an agency and advocate for diversity and accessibility, said, “It’s great to see an online platform like WOMAN+ using AI technology to make their content more accessible. Generally, many online platforms aren’t accessible to parts of the disabled community because the content is not designed to meet the range of access needs. By offering AI playback on their articles, users who may not be able to read the content can choose to listen to it instead. It’s a step in the right direction, and it would be great to see more platforms following,” says McDonald. 

“AI is not perfect,” says Platt, “but it does the job quickly.”
“That said, you will find a few human versions on WOMAN+” says Platt, “especially for articles with te reo Māori words — that’s when we try and get into our recording studios — AI hasn’t got that part right yet”.
Click here for two examples:
Link for Susanna Andrews VO
Link for AI VO

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