LibriVox and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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When LibriVox was founded in 2005, artificial intelligence didn't exist and purely computer-generated content - what little there was - was fairly easy to spot. This has changed in recent years, and artificial voices or AI-generated images have become ubiquitous. Therefore, in 2023, LibriVox admins have extended the existing policy of only human-made recordings to apply to covers and summaries as well. We prohibit the use of computer-generated content on our site to protect not only our reputation and integrity, but more importantly, the culture of the LibriVox community, where passionate individuals make personal contributions.

LibriVox AI Policy

LibriVox does not allow audio recordings, project summaries, or project cover images made with artificial (nonhuman) intelligence technology (computer-generated content, machine learning, language models, and similar technology).

  • LibriVox celebrates human volunteer effort and collaboration and has many volunteers who enjoy making audio recordings, writing summaries, and locating or creating cover images.
  • The sources that machine learning systems use to compile content (the data these systems are trained on) are uncredited, made by human artists, and potentially copyrighted.
  • The copyright status of content made with artificial intelligence technology is not always clear and could change as the US Copyright Office continues to review such content.

AI & LibriVox - Q & A

Q: But using artificial voices would help with reach the main goal of LibriVox "to record all books in the public domain" so much faster.

A: In principle, yes. However. LibriVox is not a business with yearly goals, but a hobby for many people. Our main focus was always to provide a creative outlet for people who enjoy reading books or making covers, for example. While we may achieve our overall goal faster by allowing AI-generated content, we all would lose something that is becoming increasingly precious: a sense of belonging, of community, and of personal accomplishment.

Q: What do I do if I detect or suspect AI-generated material in a project or a test recording?

A: Please contact the MC of the project or any other admin via private message. The admins will review the case and act accordingly.

Q: What happens if the material is deemed to be computer-generated?

A: If such content is detected, it will be removed from the project or, if completed, the catalog, and the responsible forum member will be notified. Repeated violations of this policy may lead to one or more formal warnings, and in final consequence, a permanent ban of the member. (See also our forum policy on warnings and bans here: Forum Policies)

Q: I have heard that LibriVox has been selling voices to be used to train AI voices or aid AI researchers, is that true?

A: No, this is absolutely false. LibriVox has not, does not, and will not sell its recordings to anyone. However, all LibriVox recordings are released into the public domain. Therefore, it is legal for AI trainers to use them for anything without our/your permission, for free. (See what public domain means here: Copyright and Public Domain)