Revealing AI Voice Chatbot Outrage Among GTA 5 Voice Actors
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AI voice chatbot sparks outrage among GTA 5 voice actors
A web3 company named WAME has faced backlash from the voice actors of Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA 5) for creating an AI voice chatbot that mimics their voices without their permission.
The controversy started when WAME posted on social media that GTA 5 fans could have a “realistic voice conversation” with Michael De Santa, one of the main characters of the game, using their AI voice chatbot.
Ned Luke, the voice actor behind Michael, was quick to respond with anger and frustration. He reshared the post and wrote: “This is fucking bullshit. Absolutely nothing cool about ripping people off with some lame computer estimation of my voice. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS GARBAGE…”
WAME deleted the post and any other references to the GTA 5-based AI voice chatbot from their social media feed, but not before PCGamesN captured the exchange, as shown below.
WAME later issued a statement to Eurogamer, apologizing to Luke and explaining their use of his voice. They said that they were “profoundly understanding and concerned” about the controversy and that it highlighted the “intricate interplay between the advancement of AI technology and the ethical and legal realms”.
They claimed that their AI voice chatbot was not based on Luke’s voice directly, but on an “independently synthesized and fine-tuned” AI voice chatbot that was “entirely by AI”. They also said that they did not intend to “commercially exploit” his voice and that they “staunchly advocate for creative freedom and agree that the rights of those who inspire creative works must be equally respected”.
They added that they have removed the chatbot from their application and that they see this incident as a “crucial learning opportunity to strive for a balance between creators’ rights and ethical AI usage”. They also called this incident a “pivotal moment in harmonizing AI voice chatbot technology with relevant legal statutes”.
AI in the gaming industry
AI is a hot topic in the gaming industry right now, with several companies experimenting with the technology. For example, Square Enix, the developer of Final Fantasy and Tomb Raider, has announced that it will be “aggressive in applying AI” in its games, according to its CEO Takashi Kiryu.
However, not everyone in the gaming industry is enthusiastic about AI, especially when it comes to voice acting. Many voice actors have expressed their concerns about the potential impact of AI on their profession and their rights.
Some of the prominent voice actors who have voiced their skepticism about AI include Troy Baker, Jane Perry, David Hayter, Jennifer Hale, and Paul Eiding. They have raised questions about the quality, authenticity, and ethics of using AI to replicate or replace human voices.
Recently, SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents voice actors and other performers, introduced a “groundbreaking” AI voice agreement that aims to protect the rights and interests of its members. The agreement allows voice actors to “skeptically explore” the opportunities for their digital voice replicas while ensuring that they have control and consent over their use.
The agreement also sets minimum fees, residuals, and disclosure requirements for voice actors who participate in AI voice projects. The union hopes that the agreement will set a standard for the industry and foster a “responsible and respectful” use of AI voice technology.
AI Chatbot Misuses GTA 5 Actor’s Voice, Sparks Apology
A recent controversy involved an AI voice chatbot that used the voice of Ned Luke, the voice actor of Michael De Santa in GTA 5, without his consent. The chatbot was created by a web3 company called WAME, which claimed to offer GTA 5 fans a realistic voice conversation with Michael.
However, Luke was not happy with this and called the chatbot “fucking bullshit” and “garbage” on social media. He also tagged Rockstar, the developer of GTA 5, his fellow voice actor Roger Clark, and the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA. WAME later apologized to Luke and removed the chatbot from their application.
They said that they did not intend to commercially exploit his voice and that they learned a lesson about the balance between creators’ rights and ethical AI usage.
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