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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Call of Duty Actor Says the Video Game Industry is on Trial

This week's Your Nerd Side Show:

Amidst all the A.I. controversies in the entertainment industry, Call of Duty voice actor, Erik Passoja, has expressed his concerns over the unethical use of artificial intelligence in the video game industry.

This issue was brought to light by Passoja, known for his work in such as Call of Duty, Diablo 4, andRed Dead Redemption 2. In an interview with LA Times, Passoja revealed his voice and face were replicated when he was not made aware of it, highlighting the potential misuse of A.I. in the industry.


Passoja who portrayed a Belgian geneticist in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, back in 2014, spoke about the experience of discovering that his face appeared on a different character in the player-versus-player version of the game, which he had not even worked on. The incident left him feeling disturbed about the popularity of A.I. in the industry. “I remember feeling violated,” the actor said. He referred to the incident as "completely unethical, completely immoral, and yet completely within the bounds of contract."


The SAG-AFTRA Strike is Negotiating Terms for Voice Actors

Zeke Alton, a voice actor and member of the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee, said, “Those experience-building jobs will be gone because they’ll be done by the algorithm”, and further emphasized that the goal was not to halt A.I. technology but to establish a baseline agreement that respects actors' consent and compensates them for their work. AI-generated voices have become more prevalent, and without proper regulations, voice actors fear losing their opportunities in the industry. Despite these concerns, some progress is being made. The interactive media agreement negotiated by SAG-AFTRA will aim to cover various performers, including voice actors, stunt coordinators, and background performers.


SAG-AFTRA has been pushing for better protection of its members in light of the increasing integration of A.I. technology. While a contract for voice actors was negotiated in 2017, it did not cover A.I. usage. The ongoing strike seeks to address this issue and secure agreements that require consent and compensation when actors' voices or likenesses are replicated by A.I. systems from earlier voice and motion-capture recordings. The voice actors' concerns are grounded in the potential capabilities of A.I. to reproduce with higher accuracy, creating believable clones of actors and their work. This poses a threat to actors' livelihoods, as A.I. generated voices could replace human performers.

The struggle with A.I. continues, and the outcome of this strike could be a potential turning point for the industry. As A.I. technology continues to evolve, the challenge lies in finding ways to strike a balance between harnessing its potential and preserving the role of humans. The gaming industry's increasing reliance on A.I. poses both opportunities and threats, making the need for comprehensive regulations and protections more pressing than ever.




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