GTA 5's Voice Actor for Michael is Unhappy About AI Ripping Off His Voice

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Rockstar Games

GTA 5's Voice Actor for Michael is Unhappy About People Using AI to Use His Voice for Racism

Abhimannu Das
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Highlights
Grand Theft Auto 5 actor Ned Luke criticized AI program WAME for replicating his voice without consent.
WAME responded to the controversy by removing the AI chatbox, acknowledging the need for ethical AI practices.

Voice actors in the gaming industry are expressing growing concerns over the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to replicate their voices without consent, raising questions about the impact of AI on the authenticity of human performances.

Ned Luke, known for his role as Michael De Santa in Grand Theft Auto 5, recently spoke out against an AI program called WAME for copying his voice without his knowledge or approval. In a Twitter post, Luke condemned the act, stating that there is "nothing cool about ripping people off" and advising fans not to engage with such unauthorized reproductions. Some of the fans were allegedly using the AI tool to publish racist rants on social media platform.

The AI Problem in Video Game Voice Acting

This incident comes amid a broader debate within the gaming community about the role of AI in replicating human performances. Prominent voice actors, including Jennifer Hale and David Hayter, have emphasized that AI is an inadequate substitute for capturing the genuine emotions and spirit of a human performance.

The controversy surrounding AI's use in gaming has been further fueled by a recent deal between the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and Replica Studios, an AI voice technology company. The deal potentially allows for AI approximations of major Hollywood actors to be used in video games, intensifying the backlash against AI in the gaming industry.

Wizards of the Coast, has also faced criticism for incorporating AI in official projects, prompting discussions about the ethical implications of AI replacing human artists. The ability of computer programs to generate images and replicate voices with uncanny accuracy has raised concerns about the future of creative industries and the potential displacement of human talent.

In response to the controversy surrounding the unauthorized use of Ned Luke's voice, WAME issued a statement acknowledging the removal of the Grand Theft Auto 5 Michael AI chatbox and committing to protecting the rights of voice actors and creators. The company emphasized the need for ethical AI practices and acknowledged the complex interplay between the advancement of AI technology and legal and ethical considerations.

While AI-generated content, including voice replication, has been a source of novelty in the past, the current incident involving Ned Luke highlights a genuine concern among voice actors about the technology being used in official projects.

As AI technology continues to advance, the debate over its role in creative industries, particularly gaming, is likely to become more prominent. The recent developments also underscore the importance of establishing ethical guidelines and legal frameworks to address the challenges posed by AI in the realm of artistic expression.


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Abhimannu is a PC esports writer at AFK Gaming. With over seven years of experience in esports journalism, he has worked on a myriad of games and their ecosystems including Valorant, Overwatch and Apex Legends.

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