Renowned for his portrayal of Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher series, Doug Cockle expresses apprehension about the rising use of artificial intelligence (AI) in voice acting. In a candid interview with IGN, Cockle delves into the ethical implications of replacing human voice actors with AI, a trend gaining momentum in the gaming industry.
Cockle’s unease revolves around the practice of digitizing real voices to generate dialogue that the original actor never spoke. This process involves taking a human voice, inputting it into a database, and using it to create phrases the individual never uttered. Having encountered voice cloning in mods for The Witcher series, Cockle argues that this is not only unethical but potentially hazardous in the wrong hands.
The actor highlights the industry’s discontent, evident in a recent Hollywood strike where voice actors expressed dissatisfaction with companies increasingly integrating AI. Cockle emphasizes that AI, while expediting game development, often results in dialogue that feels detached and unnatural compared to human delivery.
Despite concerns, the use of AI in gaming appears poised to expand. Free-to-play games like The Finals experiment with a mix of real voice actors and AI-generated voices. Cockle acknowledges the inevitability of AI usage but stresses that responsible and ethical practices are crucial.
In parallel news, CD Projekt RED gears up for The Witcher 4, assuring fans of addressing issues encountered during the Cyberpunk 2077 launch and maintaining meticulous attention to detail, including official mod support for PC. The debate over AI in voice acting continues, with industry figures like Cockle advocating for ethical considerations and actor consent in this evolving landscape.