AI Dubbing: A potential MENA economic gamechanger

28 June 2024

Among the most discussed applications for AI language technologies is video dubbing. And it’s easy to see why. For video and entertainment producers, the promise of videos redubbed in foreign languages with the press of a button is too enticing to ignore, potentially saving immense time and money investments casting, directing, and recording actors for the job. Entertainment consumers, meanwhile, could potentially access foreign-language shows, movies, and video faster than ever before. 

One region, however, stands to experience a more pronounced impact than most: the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region. According to news site Al-Monitor, the reason is two-fold. For starters, Arabic is a widely spoken language encompassing almost 500 million speakers worldwide. Secondly, with a young population immersed in digital entertainment and several MENA economies pursuing ambitious revitalization programs, localized entertainment and video has the potential to gain real traction. What’s more, Modern Standard Arabic is a suitable dialect for almost all speakers, minimizing costs yet further.  

“If you start to look at it with the lens of 'Okay, how could I go after a market where they consume loads of content, and it's also accepted to have one dialect, that's where the Middle East becomes really enticing,” Amir Jirbandey, head of growth and marketing at the UK-based AI start-up Papercup, told Al-Monitor. 

It’s not just video and entertainment providers that stand to benefit from AI dubbing. Waya reports that AI technology stands to have a potentially transformative impact on Arab economies, producing an estimated $320 billion in added value by 2030. That includes AI dubbing, and sure enough, investors are taking notice. 

For instance, CAMB.AI, an AI dubbing platform started in 2022 and based in Dubai, secured a $4 million investment from New York-based capital firm Courtside Ventures, Waya reports.

“We anticipate that this funding will expedite our further development and global expansion,” Avneesh Prakash, CEO and co-founder of CAMB.AI, told Waya.

The company has already achieved some impressive milestones. Specializing in voice translation and video dubbing, CAMB.AI technology can instantly dub content in over 100 languages, dialects, and accents. 

“This technology is truly remarkable,” Vasu Kulkarni, partner at Courtside Ventures, told The Hollywood Reporter. “Growing up in India, a land of over 700 languages, I saw first-hand how difficult it was to consume the plethora of content out there when you couldn’t understand it. For NBA fans in India to now potentially be able to watch Steph Curry while listening to the indelible Mike Breen commentating in Hindi is going to globalize the game even further.”

Waya reports that the film and sports industries have already utilized the technology, with its dubbed content garnering over 100 million views as of February. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the technology has already been used by “Major League Soccer, Tennis Australia, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, celebrity chef Nick DiGiovanni, YouTuber Narin Beauty, YouTuber BeerBiceps, and other live sports properties, media companies and creators” and was even used to dub the horror film Three —.a feat the producers claim is a first in feature filmmaking.