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The actor who played Michael in Grand Theft Auto 5 has called out a company that made an AI audio chatbot of his character.
As reported by PCGamesN, Ned Luke – who provided both his voice and likeness for the protagonist Michael – posted a message on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday criticising Web3 company WAME.
WAME was offering an AI chatbot which pretended to be the Michael character, but rather than just a text chat this was a voice chat, using an AI interpretation of Luke’s voice to essentially have him say anything.
WAME had previously tweeted a link to its new chatbot with the message: “Any GTA fans around here? Now take your gaming experience to another level. Try having a realistic voice conversation with Michael De Santa, the protagonist of GTA 5, right now!”
The tweet and chatbot have now been removed, but not before Luke called out WAME’s tweet with strong criticism.
“This is fucking bullshit @wamexyz,” Luke said. “Absolutely nothing cool about ripping people off with some lame computer estimation of my voice. Don’t waste your time on this garbage.”
Music producer Marilou Burnel replied to Luke, saying: “Creative people make remarkable things with AI, and the opposite is also true.”
“Not using my voice they don’t,” Luke retorted.
Clark had recently been arguing with X users defending the use of AI to imitate voices, tweeting on Saturday: “I’m struggling to understand WTF it is that regular, working actors have done to some of you? Sure, AI is coming, no one knows that better than us, but if they ever start copying your voice on the phone to your bank I hope some of you get a different perspective.”
Last week SAG-AFTRA announced a new deal which it claimed would protect actors from unauthorized AI replications of their voices.
However, the deal was met by criticism by some voice actors, because the deal included an agreement with AI firm Replica Studios which would allow Replica to “safely create and license a digital replica of [an actor’s] voice”, with these licensed voices then able to “be used in video game development and other interactive media projects from pre-production to final release”.
Xander Mobus, best known for his role as the voice of the announcer in Super Smash Bros, also criticised SAG-AFTRA’s deal, saying: “Fucking…who?! Did any of y’all approve this? I didn’t get told we were voting on this.” He then added: “You ain’t licensors, you are a labour union.”