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SAG-AFTRA signs agreement to allow AI voices in video games

Wait, what?

SAG-AFTRA has signed an agreement that will allow developers to use AI voice technology within video games, following an authorisation by union members to authorise a video game strike.

The vote, which took place in September, was part of a push for increased safety precautions, better wages, and protection against AI usage… which makes the new agreement — as reported by the Hollywood Reporter — quite puzzling.

According to the outlet, SAG-AFTRA and AI voice company Replica Studios have agreed that developers can “access top SAG-AFTRA talent” for the purpose of AI voice generation. Voice actors will be required to provide consent before this happens and will have the chance to negotiate for compensation accordingly.

SAG-AFTRA confirmed the reporting, saying the agreement “paves the way for professional voice over artists to safely explore new employment opportunities for their digital voice replicas with industry-leading protections tailored to AI technology, allowing AAA video game studios and other companies working with Replica to access top SAG-AFTRA talent.”

In contrast, voice actors have taken to social media saying they weren’t aware of the agreement or any negotiations.

“Every voice actor I know not only didn’t approve this,” wrote voice actor Yong Yea, who portrays Kazuma Kiryu in Like A Dragon series. “[They] pretty much heard about this for the first time today on Twitter.”

With all due respect…you state in the article ‘Approved by affected members of the union’s voiceover performer community’,” added Steve Blum, an actor who has portrayed Killer Croc in the Batman Arkham series. “Nobody in our community approved this that I know of. Games are the bulk of my livelihood and have been for years. Who are you referring to?”

SAG-AFTRA recently took part in lengthy film and TV strike that included concerns over AI technology. The strike took place over 14 July to 9 November 2023.

We’ll update this story as more is learned.

This article may contain affiliate links, meaning we could earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. Stevivor is an independent outlet and our journalism is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative.



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Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama, a lifelong enthusiast of Artificial Intelligence, has been exploring technology and the digital realm since childhood. Known for his creative thinking, he's dedicated to improving AI experiences for all, making him a respected figure in the field. His passion, curiosity, and creativity drive advancements in the AI world.
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