SAG-AFTRA (The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) has announced a planned deal to allow AAA game studios to use AI voices trained on voice actors.
SAG-AFTRA announced the plan in a recent statement which you can find excerpts from below, you can read the full thing here.
Replica Studios (Replica), an artificial intelligence (AI) voice technology company, and The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) announced today the introduction of a groundbreaking AI voice agreement during an event at CES.
This new agreement paves the way for professional voice over artists to safely explore new employment opportunities for their digital voice replicas with industry-leading protections tailored to AI technology, allowing AAA video game studios and other companies working with Replica to access top SAG-AFTRA talent.
The agreement between the leading AI voice company and the world’s largest performers’ union will enable Replica to engage SAG-AFTRA members under a fair, ethical agreement to safely create and license a digital replica of their voice. Licensed voices can be used in video game development and other interactive media projects from pre-production to final release.
Approved by affected members of the union’s voiceover performer community, this contract marks an important step towards the ethical use of AI voices in creative projects by game developers, and sets the basis for fair and equitable employment of voice actors as they explore the new revenue opportunities provided by AI. In addition to establishing minimum terms and conditions, the agreement ensures performer consent and negotiation for uses of their digital voice double and requires that performers have the opportunity to opt out of its continued use in new works.
Although performers will be able to opt out of allowing use of their “digital voice double”, it will likely affect costs in a way that harms voice actors that refuse to be copied by AI.
More than a few voice actors in the gaming industry have voiced their displeasure with the deal, especially since it appears to have been made behind the backs of those most affected.
Livid. You sold us down the river, behind our backs, AGAIN.
I'm so sick of you, @sagaftra. Time and time again, you've screwed the VO community over. I legitimately detest you, your hold on our industry, and how you abuse it. This isn't democratic. This is dictatorship. https://t.co/hhZUFieXIg
— Kellen Goff 🔜 NWA Comic Con (@kellengoff) January 9, 2024
Replica, the company partnering with SAG-AFTRA claims itself to be a more “ethical” alternative to the “wild west” of AI.