The ‘trash’ union AI contract caught video game voice performers off guard

Following the announcement of the ‘trash’ union AI contract, game voice actors were caught aback by the unexpected nature of the employment arrangement.

Prominent voice actors have said that they were not informed about a historic agreement that establishes the conditions under which artificial intelligence (AI) may be used to produce voices for usage in video games. This agreement was signed during the time period in question. In the year 2000, this agreement was signed by both parties.

Replica Studios, a company that specializes in artificial intelligence, and Sag-Aftra, the union that represents actors in the United States, have both taken action against it. Sag-Aftra refers to the union that represents actors.

It has been said in a statement that the union promises “fully informed consent and fair compensation” for its members. This statement was published by the union.

However, a huge number of voice actors have responded with anger, with one of them referring to the contract as “garbage.” These voice actors have been afraid for a lengthy period of time that artificial intelligence would take their job. They have been concerned about this for a considerable amount of time.

In the year 2023, Sag-Aftra was the organization that spearheaded the strike, which lasted for a number of months. The goal of the walkout was to seek safeguards from companies in the film and television industries that make use of artificial intelligence

Among the numerous voice actors who have indicated that this new arrangement is in opposition with the purpose of the industrial action that was taken, his comment that he “sacrificed to strike half of last year to keep my profession alive, not shop around my AI replica” is one of the many statements that he has made. A voice actor, Malhotra has contributed to the video games Mortal Kombat and Fallout. He has also worked on other projects.

According to a blog post that was published with the announcement, Sag-Aftra said that the deal was “approved by affected members of the union’s voiceover performer community.” This declaration was made in connection to the release that was made.

In light of the fact that game companies are looking into more efficient methods of producing their games, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the head negotiator for the union, pointed out that recent advancements in artificial intelligence technology have brought to light the significance of protecting the rights of voice actors. The significance of this cannot be overstated in view of the fact that.

“With this agreement, we have achieved fully informed consent and fair compensation when it comes to the use of our members’ voices and performances.”

A voice actor named Steve Blum, who was formerly recognized by Guinness as the most prolific in the video game industry, said that “nobody” that he was aware of had given their approval to the arrangement. Blum was referring to the fact that he was aware of the arrangement. The fact that none of the parties had given their consent to the arrangement was what Blum was alluding to when he made his statement.

The agreement, as stated by Sag-Aftra, outlines the regulations and restrictions that are relevant to the use of voices generated by artificial intelligence in video games

The ability to provide licenses for the use of these voices is something that Replica Studios is able to offer in the game industry as well as in other types of media.

However, in order for the artificial intelligence organization to employ the voices of actors based on their similarities, it is needed for the corporation to first gain the approval of the performers. A further advantage is that it provides voice performers with the opportunity to refuse to have their voices used in perpetuity without their consent, which is a huge advantage.

They have voiced their disapproval of the union, with World of Warcraft voice actor Andrew Russell referring to it as “garbage” and Shelby Young, who will provide the voice of Yuko in the upcoming Persona 3: Reload, expressing her “really disappointed” in the union by saying that she was “really disappointed” in the union. Both of these actors have expressed their disapproval of the union. Young was the one who made both of these claims before.

An further group of voice actors who are not now employed in the video game industry have expressed their disagreement with the contract. In his opinion, it was a “big mistake.” Joshua Seth, who is most known for providing the voice of Tai in the anime series Digimon, has expressed his opinion on the matter. It is his work in the Digimon series that has brought him the most recognition. Some people who narrate audiobooks, such as Paige Reisenfeld, have voiced their “ashamed” views over the fact that their union fees were used to pay for the deal.

The person who was in charge of providing the voice of Ash in Pokemon, Veronica Taylor, was the one who inquired about the process that was used in order to reach a consensus without the need for a vote to be taken.

Fran Dresch, president of Sag-Aftra, on the other hand, referred to the purchase as “a great example of AI being done right.” He was referring to the deal when he made this statement.

According to Shreya Nivas, the Chief Executive Officer of Replica Studios, the transaction was defined as reflecting a “ethical approach” to artificial intelligence. This was said by Nivas when discussing the sale.

“We are excited by the new opportunities this opens up for world-leading AAA studios who can now access the benefits of Replica’s AI voice technology while knowing that talent is recognized and compensated fairly for the use of their likeness,” according to the vice president of corporate communications.


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