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7 months ago
The Witcher 3 Mod Elicits Concern from Voice Actors

Originally published in GameRant, June 27, 2021.

Video game voice actors express concern about technological advances that may see the use of AI-generated voices in games, as in a Witcher 3 mod.

Voice acting for video games is a specialized skill that requires years of practice, classes, and establishing one’s presence in the industry. For some voice actors like Troy Baker or Nolan North, a successful career can lead to a level of celebrity on par with screen performers and can even influence a person’s interest in purchasing a game. However, as with many professions, some voice actors feel concerned about advances in AI technology that could eventually replace them.

In early April, a developer named Nicich340 released a mod for The Witcher 3’s Blood and Wine expansion called “A Night to Remember,” available on Nexus Mods. With nearly 13,000 unique downloads, the mod adds a completely new adventure to the game, featuring old and new characters, as well as fresh cutscenes, game assets, and voice acting.

The voice acting in “A Night to Remember” was generated using AI. More specifically, Geralt of Rivia’s new lines were produced by having AI accurately reproduce the voice of Doug Cockle, the actor who plays Geralt in The Witcher 3For some, this is an impressive feat. For many voice actors, however, the use of AI to successfully deliver lines that are indiscernible from the real thing is worrying.

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