ESPORTS DISCOVERY

GTA 5 Actor Ned Luke Calls Out ‘Bulls**t’ AI Chatbot That Uses His Voice

Grand Theft Auto voice actor Ned Luke, who played Michael De Santa in GTA 5, has called out a “f**king bulls**t” AI chatbot that used his voice.

As reported by PCGamesN, Luke responded to a post on X/Twitter from AI company WAME for promoting a chatbot that let users have “a realistic voice conversation with Michael De Santa.” WAME quickly removed the chatbot following Luke’s post, saying “this incident has highlighted the intricate interplay between the advancement of AI technology and the ethical and legal realms.”

Luke didn’t mince words in his post. “This is f**king bulls**t WAME,” he said. “Absolutely nothing cool about ripping people off with some lame computer estimation of my voice. Don’t waste your time on this garbage.”

This is f**king bulls**t WAME. Absolutely nothing cool about ripping people off with some lame computer estimation of my voice.

He also tagged Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar Games and actors union Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) in his response, and WAME quickly removed the chatbot and all promotional materials for it from the internet.

It also responded to PCGamesN: “In light of the recent controversy surrounding the utilization of Mr Ned Luke’s voice in our application, we at WAME wish to express our profound understanding and concern,” it said. “This incident has highlighted the intricate interplay between the advancement of AI technology and the ethical and legal realms.”

“WAME commits to protecting the rights of voice actors and creators while advancing ethical AI practices. We believe this controversy serves as a pivotal moment in harmonizing AI technology with relevant legal statutes.”

Luke is the latest in a long line of video game voice actors to address the threat of AI and share how it impacts them. The Witcher voice actor Doug Cockle recently told IGN that AI was “inevitable” but “dangerous”, sharing in Luke’s assessment that chatbots and similar uses are “effectively robbing [voice actors] of income.”

Video games have endured a complicated relationship with AI in recent years. Embark Studios, the developer of smash hit shooter The Finals, was criticised for using AI voiceovers by myriad actors and even other developers, for example. Embark told IGN that “making games without actors isn’t an end goal” and claimed it uses a mix of both recorded audio voices and audio generated via AI text to speech tools for its games, however.

Video game voice actors previously called out AI-generated explicit Skyrim mods, and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate voice actress Victoria Atkin called AI-generated mods the “invisible enemy we’re fighting right now” after discovering her voice was used by cloning software. Paul Eiding, the voice actor behind Colonel Campbell in the Metal Gear Solid series, also condemned its use.

Ironically, the biggest developer to use AI for voice acting so far is The Witcher studio CD Projekt Red, though this was only done to replace a deceased voice actor after gaining permission from the family.

Looking to counter chatbots like the Grand Theft Auto one, Cissy Jones, a voice actor known for her roles in Disney’s Owl House, Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, Shin Megami Tensei 5, and more, has started a company called Morpheme.ai to let voice actors embrace AI in their own way and gain control of their own voices going forward.

Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelance reporter. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.

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Author: Ryan Dinsdale