After drawing criticism online The final Using AI language services, developer Embark Studios defended the decision.
Last week, a tweet showing off some of the voice acting in The Finals made it seem like the game would use AI voices, which was confirmed by a podcast interview with one of the game’s audio designers. Embark Studios has now provided IGN with a statement defending its use of AI and attempting to explain how it uses it. “We use a combination of recorded voice audio and audio generated via TTS tools in our games, depending on the context,” a spokesperson told IGN.
“Sometimes capturing real scenes where actors come together – so that character chemistry and conflict influences the outcome – is something that adds depth to our game worlds that technology can’t replicate. But sometimes it’s also like that when it comes to contextual in-game actions. “During missions, TTS allows us to tailor voice output where we wouldn’t otherwise, for example due to the quick implementation.”
Sure it’s great to be able to work quickly, but if you just do it Listen to the AI voicesYou can clearly hear how awkward and harrowing the performances are.
So far, Embark has said that most voice-overs are AI “with a few exceptions,” but in its statement to IGN the company clarified how many real people are involved. “In the cases where we use TTS in The Finals, it is always based on real votes. In the open beta, it relies on a mix of professional voice actors and temporary voices from Embark employees. Making games without actors is not an end goal.” Embark and TTS’ technology has opened up new ways for us to collaborate.”
However, the fact that the AI is based on real voices isn’t the problem – the software takes the work away from the actual voice actors, as you can simply continue to use an AI voice without having to pay the original actor for their work. AI performance is also an issue SAG-AFTA is currently striking over, and poses a major problem for video game voice actors as it directly threatens their livelihoods.