Date: January 15, 2024
By Hanna Rose
Ned Luke is the latest actor forced to defend their work from being stolen by AI voice generators.
Ned Luke, the actor known for his role in Grand Theft Auto 5, has called out an AI chatbot for using his voice without permission. Following Luke’s criticism, the chatbot, based on his character Michael from GTA 5, has been removed. Luke expressed his displeasure on Twitter, labeling the voice generator as “garbage” and emphasizing that he did not consent to his voice being utilized in this manner. This incident reflects a growing concern among gaming actors who have faced similar unauthorized use of their voices by AI technologies.
WAME, the company behind the chatbot, acknowledged the criticism but stopped short of issuing a public apology to Luke. In a statement to PCGamesN, WAME conveyed its “profound understanding and concern” while pledging a commitment to “advancing ethical AI practices.”
Ned Luke is the latest in a series of gaming actors who have spoken out against AI voice generators aimed at fans. Other actors, such as Roger Clark, Yuri Lowenthal, and Cissy Jones, have also expressed their opposition to this practice. Luke and Clark further detailed the negative impact of AI voice generators, citing instances where their voices were used to create false and offensive content.
In response to the controversy, WAME admitted to an “oversight in [its] initial approach” and acknowledged the complex relationship between AI technology advancements and ethical and legal considerations. The company committed to protecting the rights of voice actors and creators while promoting ethical AI practices.
Despite ongoing concerns, the legal framework has not kept pace with AI advancements. Many actors, especially those specializing in voice work, feel let down by recent developments within the actors’ union, SAG-AFTRA. Despite strikes and protests, the union signed an agreement with Replica Studios, allowing video game actors to permit the generation of their voices by AI, albeit with “informed consent.” This decision has been viewed by many within the gaming industry as a betrayal, especially considering that actors in other industries have not faced similar concessions.
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