- CD Projekt used AI to replicate the voice of late actor Miłogost Reczek in the Cyberpunk 2077 expansion, Phantom Liberty.
- The use of AI in the entertainment industry sparks concerns among actors about the future of their profession.
- Despite the ethical questions, AI continues to make inroads into creative fields, leaving both experts and audiences divided on its potential impacts.
October 13, 2023: CD Projekt, the popular video game Cyberpunk 2077 developer, recently decided to use artificial intelligence (AI) to replicate the voice of deceased actor Miłogost Reczek. Reczek, who died in December 2021 at 60, was a well-known voice talent in Poland.
He voiced multiple roles in games and movies, including Viktor Vektor in Cyberpunk 2077.
The decision to use AI came after obtaining consent from Reczek’s family. CD Projekt’s localization director, Mikołaj Szwed, said the choice was made because Reczek “was one of the best Polish voice talents,” and his performance was “stellar.”
Instead of finding a new actor to re-record the lines, the developers used voice-cloning software named Respeecher to make a new actor’s lines sound like Reczek’s.
This move coincides with rising concerns among actors about using AI in the entertainment sector. Last month, members of the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) voted in favor of authorizing a strike.
This vote empowered their negotiators to call a strike if talks stall. One of the key issues being debated is the use of AI technology.
Zeke Alton, a member of the Interactive Negotiating Committee, warned that using AI could lead to large sections of the workforce being replaced. He emphasized that the problem is not just about actors but has broader implications for society and the economy.
Despite these issues, AI’s presence in the entertainment industry is growing. It’s not just CD Projekt; companies like Disney have also used AI to replace or de-age actors in projects like the Star Wars franchise.
Pawel Sasko, CD Projekt Lead Quest Designer, said, “AI is going to be just another tool we’ll use for productivity and game development.”
The Phantom Liberty expansion for Cyberpunk 2077, where Reczek’s AI-replicated voice was used, has been received well by critics. However, it also leaves the industry and audiences questioning the ethical limits of AI in arts and entertainment.