Doug Cockle’s Stand: AI in Video Games Posing Ethical Challenges

NNicholas December 22, 2023 12:46 PM

Video game veteran and 'The Witcher' voice actor, Doug Cockle, voices concerns over the unethical usage of AI in the gaming industry. While acknowledging the inevitability of AI, he warns against its potential misuse and the impact it can have on voice actors.

The Witcher’s voice actor's AI concerns

Doug Cockle, renowned for his voice work as Geralt of Rivia in 'The Witcher' series, has candidly shared his apprehensions about the increasing integration of artificial intelligence in the video game sector. While he acknowledges the unavoidable nature of AI's influence, he also flags its potential dangers. The voice actor is particularly worried about the unlawful and unethical misuse of AI, which may have far-reaching consequences.

The ethical dilemma of voice digitizing

Cockle takes particular issue with the process of digitizing human voices for AI usage. He views this practice as unethical, arguing that it essentially robs voice actors of their income and reuses their work without their explicit consent. From a moral standpoint, he raises concerns about the potential misuse of these digitized voices to spread false or harmful information, thereby exacerbating the spread of 'fake news'.

Further highlighting his stance against the misuse of AI, Cockle recounted an instance where an AI firm approached him with a request to upload his Geralt voice into their database. Despite the potential exposure and opportunity, Cockle declined the offer, standing firm in his belief that voice actors should have the right to control how their voices are used.

Morpheme.ai: Control over voice actors' AI use

Among the wave of concern, there is hope for a solution that merges the benefits of AI with the rights of voice actors. Cissy Jones, a fellow voice actor, has established a company called Morpheme.ai. The aim of this innovative venture is to allow voice actors to capitalize on AI technology while maintaining control over their own voices, giving them the power to navigate their careers within the evolving landscape of the gaming industry.

The relationship between the video game industry and AI has always been a complex one, dotted with both advancements and controversies. Several game developers have faced criticism for their use of AI voiceovers, a trend that has sparked debates about authorship, creative rights, and the future of voice acting in video games. This complex interface between technology and creativity is likely to continue shaping discussions within the gaming community.

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