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One of the biggest concerns about AI adoption is that those tools are trained using works by creatives who never get credited or compensated for it. On Sunday, January 14, 2024, Ned Luke, the actor who played the role of Michael De Santa in GTA 5 called out WAME, a Web3 company that leverages AI to create tools, for illegally using his voice in a chatbot.

According to reports, WAME had created an AI chatbot that uses an interpretation of the GTA 5 character’s voice in a voice chat.

“This is f**king bull***t @wamexyz absolutely nothing cool about ripping people off with some lame computer estimation of my voice,” wrote the GTA 5 actor on X. “DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS GARBAGE….”

According to reports, WAME had created an AI chatbot that uses an interpretation of the GTA 5 character’s voice in a voice chat. In other words, their tool could say anything using the GTA 5 actor’s voice. Prior to the outburst from the GTA 5 actor, WAME had shared a tweet inviting GTA 5 fans to take their experience to the next level.

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“Any GTA fans around here?” WAME had tweeted—although the post has now been deleted. “Now take your gaming experience to another level. Try having a realistic voice conversation with Michael De Santa, the protagonist of GTA 5, right now!”

GTA 5 Actor Lambast AI Company WAME For Using His Voice In A Chatbot

Luke tagged Rockstar Games and Roger Clark (who played the protagonist in Red Dead Redemption 2), as well as SAG-AFTRA in his outburst. WAME responded to the tweet saying they had no commercial motive for the tool.

“First and foremost, I extend my sincerest apologies,” WAME responded. “As a fan of GTA, my intention was to implement interactions with GTA game characters using AI, without any commercial motives. I assure you that the app in question will be removed. Once again, I deeply regret any concern this may have caused and apologize sincerely.”

The GTA 5 actor expressed worry about the actor’s union

Clark in a comment said that “all they can do is copy and steal. The real Michael will never be replaced”. However, in response, the GTA 5 actor said he was not worried about being replaced. He directed his anger towards the union (SAG-AFTRA) saying “Our sh**ty union is so damn weak that this will soon be an issue on legit work, not just some lame douchebag tryna make $$ off of our voices”.

According to reports, WAME had created an AI chatbot that uses an interpretation of the GTA 5 character’s voice in a voice chat.

Last week, SAG-AFTRA announced a new agreement that the union claims would protect actors from the unauthorized use of their voices by AI. However, some voice actors criticized the agreement because of a deal the union struck with Replica Studios, an AI voice firm.

According to the deal, Replica will be allowed to “safely create and license a digital replica of [an actor’s] voice” and these licensed voices can “be used in video game development and other interactive media projects from pre-production to final release”.

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Starfield actor Elias Toufexis and Apex Legends voice actor Erika Ishii both spoke out against the agreement saying nobody asked the union to agree to such a deal. In a statement to IGN, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator for SAG-AFTRA defended the deal with Replica Studios.

“Our AI deal with Replica Studios is an important step in ensuring the ethical application of these technologies in a way that ensures the use of members’ voices only with informed consent and fair compensation. This is a deal that covers one company, with regard to the development of video games. This deal does not impact our IMA negotiations. Rather, it sets a model for our industry, building on the terms approved by 80% of our members just a month ago, and we hope to see more companies adopting agreements like this one.”

Do you think AI has a place in the production of video games or do you think the use of such tools should be outrightly outlawed? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.


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