There has been some concern for a number years about the changing nature of work. Will robots eventually replace us all? Will we all be made redundant?


These questions could give plenty of food for thought, but the answer in my opinion is….Never!!


And I say that because we need to first of all understand the meaning of the word redundant. The dictionary defines it as no longer needed or useful”.


So that solves the issue then, as from the very meaning of the word we can understand that you and I could never be redundant. And that’s because we are living and breathing, and as such will always be useful to someone and needed somewhere.


I often hear people say “I was made redundant”, no my friend! Your position at that company was made redundant. You yourself are still very much useful.


In voiceover land the robots are at work already in the form of text to speech, synthetic voices, AI and a load of other applications. We’ve all heard them when we call our GP, the bank, use the sat nav in our cars, or even in homes that have alexas.  


Some of these automated voices sound terrible, others are half decent, and some are quite good. But, they are not the real thing!


And that there is the key, the robots might be able to do low budget interactive voice response work and some forms of simple narration, but the higher end of the market for commercials and animation……no chance! That type of work needs a human being as there are emotions, nuances, and performance that a robot simply cannot do. The robots will no doubt get better as time goes on, but then again so will we.


A couple of years ago I voiced a TV commercial for Indeed (the employment website) which spoke about just that. The script read:


So work is changing

We’re told the robots are coming for our jobs. 

That the algorithms will replace us. 

But we are resilient 

Born to adapt 

Wired to learn 

Sure change is coming 

But we will find opportunity 


And that there is the crux of the matter! No matter how good the robot is, an AI voice will never be as good as you and me. 


So, the robots may be coming but when they eventually do get here … I think they'll find us quite hard to beat.