A Metal Gear Solid voice actor has joined the chorus of speakers speaking out against the use of artificial intelligence to reproduce real actors’ voices.
Paul Eiding, a prominent voice actor in the Metal Gear Solid series, is speaking out against fans using artificial intelligence to recreate his voice and characters. As technology has advanced recently, AI programs and apps have been developed that allow users to recreate voices, art and music styles. While this has led to speculation about how AI can change games, it has also led to controversy. Some artists and performers have raised legal and ethical concerns about using these programs.
AI-generated sounds and performances, such as the one that recently led Todd Howard to say questionable things about Elder Scrolls 6, can sometimes be shockingly realistic, astonishing observers and upsetting some performers.
Critics of such programmes argue that they unfairly infringe on the creative work of others. These artificial intelligence programs often learn by analysing existing works of art or performances. They then imitate their sound or style. Performers are not compensated for this use. Moreover, they could potentially lose future careers because of the use of AI. Some feel that this violates ethical standards, if not copyright.
Recently, Paul Eiding, known as the voice of Colonel Roy Campbell in the Metal Gear Solid series, took to Twitter to call out fans who use his voice without explicit permission. Eiding has joined a growing chorus of speakers, and he also specifically addressed the issue of artificial intelligence in his statement. He was emphatic in making his position clear. Eiding stated that using his voice without his consent is a “violation of his legal rights and a real slap in the face”.
Eiding has worked as an actor since the 1980s and has appeared in films, series and plays. In addition to Metal Gear Solid, he has lent his voice to Diablo 2, the Fallout series and several other major titles. He was joined by MGS veteran David Hayter and Jennifer Hale in speaking out against AI. He stressed the importance of using and compensating real people for voice acting.
The number of speakers criticising artificial intelligence has recently increased, highlighting the growing concern about how this technology will change society.
Over the past few years, AI has become a source of considerable debate and concern. Starting with fears of deepfake being used to mislead the public. From the loss of jobs or the emergence of “soulless dialogue” in games to new technology.
Eiding’s claim that using his voice by artificial intelligence is a breach of the law has no legal precedent. There has yet to be a significant case that tests and delineates the boundaries between AI, free speech and copyright. However, there are undoubtedly many who share his view. This will be part of the ongoing debates on the use of AI.
If you do not have written permission to use my voice,
you DO NOT HAVE PERMISSION to use my voice,
including AI use. Doing so is a violation of my legal rights
and a real slap in the face.
— Paul Eiding (@4pauleiding) July 9, 2023