AI voice acting technology comes of age

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As technologies advance so to does the world of video games. Now Altered AI has created technology that allows you to change a voice performance to best fit your game or reinterpret it for new in-game scenarios.

Altered AI has multiple demos on its website one of which showcases a voice performance from a woman which is then altered to sound like a male with a different accent, the audio is then altered again to sound like an older male. 

Certain games have already used this technology such as The Accent by by Swedish indie game studio Neon Giant, while developer Ninja Theory are also partnering with Altered AI, although in what capacity is yet to be announced

With titles already making use of this tech, it may only be a matter of time until more developers look into the world of AI voice performances.

From a developers standpoint the technology has great potential. Small indie teams working on a tighter budget could simply do voice work themselves with one person becomming multiple characters. Large games could populate their NPC characters with AI voices rather than hiring multiple actors or ‘simple’ AI voices may be used as placeholders during development. However technology like this does raises questions and concerns for those working in the so-far-unimpacted world of the voice acting proffesional.

Rise of the robots

Cissy Jones who voiced one of the main characters in Firewatch spoke on the subject stating that human performance is at the heart of great games. Jones went on to say “A synthetic performance is soulless by definition, thus losing the art, the collaboration, the creative spark that comes from people working together to create the narrative and emotional immersion that gamers and broader audiences deserve.

“Working on Firewatch was a collaborative process every time we got in the booth, reworking lines and making each other laugh to figure out what worked – together. The reason people hire voice actors is because we bring the unexpected. We make words on a page come to life. That’s the magic.”

Those that work in the world of voice acting feel that while an AI may be able to deliver lines it cannot capture the true feeling behind those words. Technology like this could be dangerous for actors who in the long run may lose out on roles or find it more difficult to break into the industry.

The ever-changing games industry space has also been under the microscope recently as the Department of Homeland Security funded a program that will research how gaming social hubs could act as a breeding ground for extremist groups.

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