Skip to main content

Voice actors seeing an increasing threat from AI

Voice actors are the latest creatives to feel the heat from artificial intelligence (AI).

According to a Motherboard report this week, those providing their voices for content such as ads, gaming titles, and animations have been noticing how clients are increasingly asking them to sign contracts that hand over the rights to their voice so that AI can be used to create a synthetic version.

This, of course, leaves them in a very awkward position, for if they refuse to agree to such a clause, they could well lose the work. Acceptance of the clause, however, would likely result in an AI version of their voice handling future projects.

One voice actor expressed concerns to Motherboard that a client would be able to use the technology to “squeeze more performances out of me” without offering any extra compensation.

Another noted how, at the current time, if they’re in a recording booth and have an issue with a particular line, they can inform the director and find a solution there and then. But the AI technology means that sweeping edits, including the insertion of entirely new sentences, could take place later without the voice actor ever being told.

Contracts that give clients the right to synthesize an actor’s voice are now “very prevalent,” Tim Friedlander, president and founder of the National Association of Voice Actors (NAVA), told Motherboard.

Friedlander said the language in the contracts can be “confusing and ambiguous,” meaning the actor might sign away their rights without even realizing it.

Worryingly, clients are informing some actors that they won’t be considered for a job if they refuse to accept the clause.

The situation is deemed so serious for the industry that NAVA has issued advice for voice actors, telling them never to grant synthesis rights to a client and to contact their union or an attorney if they suspect the contract is trying to take their rights.

“Long story short, any contract that allows a producer to use your voice forever in all known media (and any new media developed in the future) across the universe is one we want to avoid,” NAVA says on its website.

With AI now gaining greater prominence and the technology improving all the time, it’s hard to see how many industries, voice acting among them, will escape its effects.

One cited solution, in this case, could be to build into contracts a licensing system that means an actor will be paid each time a synthesized version of their voice is used, but rates for such usage would almost certainly be low, meaning it’s unlikely to be accepted by those currently able to make a living from voice work.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
This HP Victus gaming PC is over $500 off for a limited time
The HP Victus 15L gaming PC on a desk.

Gaming PC deals can be pretty exciting, especially if you’re not upgrading out of necessity. After all, overclocking can really push your machine to its limits, which could spell disaster for desktops that are less equipped for heavy-duty gameplay. This is why we’re always looking for great desktop computer deals, and we found one we thing most folks are going to love: 

For a limited time, the HP Victus 15L Gaming Desktop is on sale at HP. Normally, this powerful gaming PC costs $1,400, but you’ll be able to grab it for $830 (a $570 discount) while this deal lasts. 

Read more
Grab this sleek Asus gaming laptop while it has a $450 discount
Cyberpunk 2077 running on the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14.

While there are a lot of excellent gaming laptops on the market, a lot of them tend to be pretty big and bulky, which makes sense since it's always nice to have a bigger screen to game on. Unfortunately, that does mean that those who prefer a smaller laptop don't get a lot of options, but luckily, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is small and good enough for entry-to-mid-range gaming. If you've been looking for some great 14-inch laptops for gaming, then you'll be happy to know that the Zephyrus G14 is discounted heavily at Best Buy, all the way down to $1,150 from its original $1,500.

Why you should buy the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14
Even though the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is quite small, Asus still manages to pack a respectable RTX 4060 under the hood, which is a really excellent GPU for high-refresh, high-settings 1080p gaming, and great for 2K resolutions with some compromises. Luckily, the screen runs a 2560 x 1440 resolution and can hit an impressive 165Hz refresh rate, which means that you can choose between prioritizing resolution, refresh, or graphical settings. It can also hit a whopping 500 nits of peak brightness, which essentially means you can use this everywhere, even with indirect sunlight, so it really adds to the portability.

Read more
Best Buy is selling this HP gaming laptop for just $550 today
HP Victus placed outside while displaying an attractive background.

Even though there has been a lot of progress when it comes to gaming laptops, they still tend to cost a lot of money, especially if you're on a tight budget and don't want to spend the thousands of dollars they usually cost. Luckily, HP has a great solution for you in the form of the HP Victus 15, which has a couple of solid low-budget configurations. For example, this configuration from Best Buy will let you net the Victus 15 for just $550, rather than the usual $880 it goes for, saving you a solid $330 in the process.

Why you should buy the HP Victus 15
It's worth noting from the start that this configuration of the HP Victus 15 is not that powerful, as it comes with an older RTX 3050 GPU under the hood. That's an entry-level GPU from the last generation, although that doesn't necessarily make it a bad choice, especially if you're mostly interested in free-to-play games like CS:GO and League of Legends. In fact, the 15.6-inch FHD screen can even hit a 144Hz refresh rate, which implies that it's made for these types of games that are older and well-optimized for budget GPUs so that you can play them a bit more competitively. That said, the screen can only hit 250 nits of peak brightness, so you'll want to keep it away from any sunlight or strong lighting when gaming.

Read more