While some voice actors have decried a recent deal that SAG-AFTRA struck with an AI voiceover studio, one voice actor is already dealing with fallout from AI tech after another company used his voice without his permission for a gimmicky chatbot.
Ned Luke, the actor who voices the Grand Theft Auto V character Michael De Santa, logged onto the social media platform X-formerly Twitter on Sunday and called out tech company WAME in pungent terms for using his voice in an AI chatbot.
"This is fucking bullshit," he wrote, as he tagged SAG-AFTRA and Rockstar Games, which publishes GTA "[A]bsolutely nothing cool about ripping people off with some lame computer estimation of my voice. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS GARBAGE..."
WAME, which bills itself as a Web3 company, seems to have deleted the chatbot and online posts about it.
In response to questions from the news outlet PCGamesN, WAME released a statement saying that 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."
The tech company also said it is dedicated to safeguarding "the rights of voice actors and creators while advancing ethical AI practices."
While it's probably good that a company like WAME has taken offline an unauthorized AI chatbot, it's definitely a sign of things to come for how very messy it's getting for people in the entertainment business.
Take the recent SAG-AFTRA deal struck with AI voice over studio Replica Studios — the first of its kind — which has peeved many voice actors who feel their livelihood is at stake.
"I believe a remnant of talented and deeply committed artists will remain in each field, but the bulk of our work will sadly be replaced by AI," voice actor Steph Lynn Robinson told Motherboard. "SAG-AFTRA has set a precedent with this agreement and this is only the beginning."
Even with such a deal, the cat is out of the bag — and for evidence, look no further than the WAME AI voice chatbot and more grotesque displays such as the AI-generated George Carlin stand-up routine that was decried by the deceased comedian's living daughter.