The Witcher voice actor Doug Cockle says AI is inevitable but dangerous

The Witcher

Acclaimed The Witcher voice actor Doug Cockle, the voice of the titular Geralt of Rivia, recently said AI use in games is inevitable, yet dangerous.

“AI is inevitable and developers will use AI,” Cockle said to IGN. “We are not 100% sure exactly what that means.”

Numerous examples of games using AI-generated artwork have surfaced at various levels like with High on Life, and some movies have even used AI to replicate the likeness of actors.

“They’re already doing it in various ways, filling in background, NPC voices, and things like that, which is unfortunate because those voices were all human beings at one point, and the voices are all modelled on human beings,” Cockle said. “So they have taken someone’s voice, put it into their database, digitized it, and are using it to say things that the individual never said. There’s something unethical about that and so there’s a lot of debate going on.”

The iconic voice actor said it’s when trolls or those planning to do bad things utilize AI is when the technology gets scary.

“This is the bit that we really don’t like about AI, is that if they can do it for things that are just commercially questionable, then they can do it with things that are politically or ethically bad,” Cockle said.

“Somebody could use AI to produce something racist using Geralt’s voice, using my voice, or just something against anything that most normal people think is good. That’s where the AI gets dangerous. Fake news, false news, false opinions. We’re seeing it with politicians now. People are putting things out there. So AI is not the problem. It’s the people using AI.”

Cockle added: “It’s changed a lot as well, because when The Witcher 3 came out, I don’t think that people playing games, not that they weren’t interested, but they didn’t really think about who was voicing these characters. It wasn’t something that was of great interest. But I’ve watched over the years, it has become more and more interesting to players and to fans who the people are behind these voices, and that’s a fantastic thing. But it also means that those voices are much more personalized. It’s not just Geralt. That is my voice.”

The most recent game in the series, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, has been available for Windows PC (via GOGOrigin, and Steam), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PS5. Check out our thorough review here! An entirely new Witcher game is also in development, though details are scant.



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