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  • Writer's pictureMark Gash

Text-to-speech AI and virtual presenters

AI is on everybody's minds at the moment, with organisations rushing to incorporate it into their training and learning. We've been testing out various AI products and seeing whether they're a force for good, a threat to humanity, or a complete waste of your time.


Watch this to see the results of turning this article into a video presentation using Elai.


In our last article, we looked at using ChatGPT to create eLearning course structures and content. As a research tool, it's fantastic at giving you the bare bones to get you started creating resources and activities, however, long tracts of AI-generated text aren't the most thrilling way to engage your audience.


This time, we're looking at Elai, which is a text-to-speech generating tool, that uses AI to create visual slides with voiceovers. The slides can feature images, text, graphics, video, and music. The Elai dashboard also comes complete with AI avatars to present your slides if you so wish.


As a tool for newbies, it's fairly simple - you select a template, choose from a library of voices and avatar characters, then type some text. The software with turn your text into speech and can render the avatar so that it actually speaks the words.


The results are varied and you may need to tweak the spelling of some of your words to get the pronunciation to your liking. We signed up for the premium version and some of the paid-for voices are noticeably less AI-sounding than the free ones.


For us, the avatars were too uncanny-valley and resembled something from a mediocre video game, with added lip-synch issues.



Elai also has a library of music, stock video, and images to make your presentations more engaging. Alternatively, you can upload your own.


With a bit of effort, we managed to produce some nice-looking presentations that we would be confident in using in an eLearning capacity.


For now, our recommendation would be to stay clear of the avatars and use Elai purely for narrated presentations. The benefits to this are the cost of Elai versus the cost of hiring a voiceover artist, as you can edit the text and voice with no additional fees or lead time. There's still a hint of AI in the speech, so we would recommend using it for budget-conscious products - if you have the cash to splash on a real voice-over artist and presenter, then that's the gold standard.



If you're wondering how to incorporate some of the emerging AI technologies into your online training or e-learning projects, get in touch here.


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