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Studios permitted by acting and performance union SAG-AFTRA to use voices replicated by generative AI in their games.

SAG - AFTRA AI Approved

Per the Hollywood Reporter, the union and Replica struck an agreement letting developers (triple-A and otheriwse) to "access top SAG-AFTRA talent," and for actors to "safely explore new employment opportunities for their digital voice replicas with industry-leading protections." The Guild says the agreement sets terms and conditions for the use of AI-generated voices, and requires voice actors to consent for the use of their voices and negotiate further terms of use.

Replica Studios will be required to allow performers to opt out of continued use of their voice in new works. The contract covers other interactive media and spans from pre-production to final release.

The agreement was revealed at CES 2024. Just a day prior, it was revealed that Ubisoft and Tencent were using NVIDIA's AI-generated Ace toolset, which lets studios create generative NPCs.

The use of AI voices has been heavily debated video games. Voice actors in the past revealed contract clauses that wanted them to sign over their voice rights, and they're overall not a fan of the technology.

At present, Embark's The Finals is a game that uses AI voices in its entirety. Voice actors believe it may only be a matter of time before that becomes the norm in the industry.

SAG-AFTRA national executive director and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said the agreement secures actors' consent and negotiation for their digital voice. It's also required that actors be allowed to opt out of AI being used in new works.

"This agreement is about voice replication in video games,” said Crabtree-Ireland. "[Voice actors] are on cutting edge of the implementation of AI and the risks that come with it."

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