AI is at the center of an ongoing strike in Hollywood, with writers and actors worried about how studios will take advantage of rapidly advancing technology in the future. These concerns permeate the world of video games, especially the voice acting community.
Last week we shared a controversy in the Skyrim community.Dozens of voice actors were found there NSFW Skyrim mod generated by AI, using synthetic versions of real vocal performances. The characters in these mods sound like real-life actors, but they say lines that the voice actors have never actually done (often in a pornographic context). Many of these mods are hosted by mod distributor Nexus Mods.
Well, Victoria Atkin, who played Evie Frye in 2015’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, discovered that her voice was also used in an AI-generated porn mod on Nexus Mods.
Update on this… AI stole my voice for this role. @Sagafutra @WGAEast @WGAWest #Union Strong #video games #performance capture #evi fry #assassin’s creed @assassin’s creed @Ubisoft @Latimes @variety @deadline @IGN https://t.co/IUGta4Pssh
— Victoria Atkin (@VictoriaAtkin) July 15, 2023
IGN sat down with Atkin with Tim Friedlander, founder and president of the National Voice Actors Association (NAVA), to discuss AI’s ongoing threat to the voice acting community.
Atkin said of the moment she learned how her voice was being used, “I was really shocked that this sound was being used without my opinion, without my consent.” said. “It’s very scary to think that someone could copy it and modify it and make me say whatever I want and it might take my life away…it’s a threat all around. It’s like this invisible enemy we’re fighting now. ”
To join the fight against that invisible enemy, Atkin headed to the picket line of the WGA’s strike last month. Atkin and Friedlander explained that many of the issues writers and actors battle in the television and film industries also affect interactive entertainment.
“AI is a general threat to workers, and voice actors and writers are workers,” Friedlander said. “We are basically replacing humans with AI and digital technology that can do their jobs for free, but that doesn’t benefit voice actors, it doesn’t benefit screenwriters…only the top tier of these companies benefit. you get.”
Lack of regulation for AI-generated content
Because AI threats are relatively new, Atkin said many of the contracts he signed throughout his career are out of date. For example, her contract with Ubisoft for Assassin’s Creed was signed nearly a decade ago, long before AI concerns were even considered. This means many contracts do not include language addressing permission for her AI content.
As a temporary fix, NAVA is Addendum Earlier this year, the actors began to be included in contracts. In this document, the company agrees that voice recordings and motion capture performance will not be used to create synthetic voice or machine learning. But Friedlander said widespread change needs to happen in a more formal setting.
“At the moment there are no contractual protections and they have to be included in the contract specifically to address AI and machine learning…many voice actors have been doing this job for 10 or 20 years and we have hundreds of hours It is free to use and can be used in machine learning to train synthetic voices that could potentially be used on our behalf to train our replacements.”
Friedlander said there is currently no software that can track voice as biometric data. So it’s virtually impossible for any actor to keep up with every instance of his AI-generated content featuring his voice. For actors like Atkin who have been in the industry for years, the lack of regulation for AI-generated content becomes even more of a concern.
“I’ve played more games than I can count and my voice is too much to keep track of… some credits I played that aren’t even on IMDb. Just horrible… me It’s kind of dangerous what they do with it without telling you.”
IGN reached out to Nexus Mods for comment on this, but did not hear back by publication. When IGN previously reached out to Nexus Mods regarding the NSFW Skyrim mod, a spokesperson noted the site’s current policy regarding AI content, part of which read: “Mod content generated by AI is It’s not against the rules, but it may be removed if received.” Credible complaints from affected creators/rights owners. ”
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN covering video game and entertainment news. He has over 7 years of experience in the games industry and has written byline articles for IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.