AI voice cloning threatens livelihoods of voice actors, others

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Greg Marston, a British voice actor, was shocked to discover that his voice was being used on the Wimbledon website by an AI-generated clone of his voice named “Connor” without his permission.

Marston had recorded a session for IBM in 2003 and granted permission for its use, assuming that his voice would only be used verbatim. However, thanks to AI, IBM monetized Marston’s decades-old voice sample, selling it to websites that now employ it to craft synthetic voices capable of saying anything, including making appearances on the Wimbledon website during the tennis tournament.

Marston’s plight is just one example of how AI is threatening the livelihoods of creators. Artists, writers, actors, and musicians are all worried that their work is being used to train AI systems that could eventually replace them.

This is having a devastating impact on creators. Many are losing jobs and income, and others are simply discouraged from creating at all.

To combat this, news outlets like The New York Times and CNN have added protective measures against AI chatbots scraping their content, while authors file lawsuits alleging unauthorized use of their work for AI training.

This has also lead to questions of responsibility amongst regulators, including the European Union. They now grapple with imposing transparency measures on AI systems, but experts argue that more than transparency is needed. Ethical standards, consent, control, and compensation are critical demands made by creators like Tim Friedlander, who represents the National Association of Voice Actors.

The sources for this piece include an article in NewYorkTimes.

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