Voice and AI: Beyond Words

with James MacLeod

The magic of voice is the way it transcends text to something more than just words. Anne is joined by James MacLeod of BeyondWords to discuss that process. They discuss the need for text-to-speech integration, from news sources to accessibility + how voice actors can stay involved. Anne and James also discuss The free Voice Services Agreement Template (VSAT) developed by Beyond Words, which is an editable legal template designed to facilitate contracting between voice actors and companies using AI voice clones.


In this bonus Voice and AI episode, Anne & James MacLeod discuss talking points about the Voice Services Agreement Template (VSAT) and integrating voice actors into the process of creating a protected synthetic voice …

"At BeyondWords, it is essential that human voices are a part of the winning equation." - James MacLeod

About James

James MacLeod has a natural and strong instinctive ability to identify, create and grow new technology businesses. Backed with a deep understanding of the startup culture, he is the Co-Founder and COO of BeyondWords (formerly SpeechKit). BeyondWords combines the latest AI voice technology with a robust publishing toolkit to provide frictionless audio. The technological integrations are used by more than 170 publishers worldwide across news publishing, corporate communications, and education.



Top 10 Takeaways

Quick-share concepts from today’s episode:

  1. BeyondWords (previously known as Speech Kit) is a company that creates custom AI voices + provides all-in-one audio CMS.

  2. BeyondWords grew out of a short-form audio news app, Clippet, that MacLeod had co-founded years ago.

  3. The audio distribution, analytics, and monetization technology from Clippard paved the way for BeyondWords.

  4. Voices are licensed based on the script read during a recording session with BeyondWords.

  5. Their VO licensing includes a one-time fee, usage-based fee, or both.

  6. At this time, usage-based licensing seems to be the most sustainable + fair payment method.

  7. Synthesizing a voice with BeyondWords requires 2 hours of uninterrupted audio data.

  8. Licensing a voice or intellectual property is complicated. Licensing a script is much simpler, and is the way VO contracts typically operate.

  9. BeyondWords contractually sets boundaries between AI voice work + human voice acting work.

  10. Voice actors should protect their AI voice with contracts + careful job selection in the same way you would your human voice. #VOBOSS


"Voice actors are not being replaced by AI." - Anne

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++


Voice Services Agreement Template (VSAT) - download >>
Voice Talent - Get on board with an ethical and responsible company - Create a Voice with Beyond Words