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GTA 5 actor calls out “garbage” AI chatbot of his voice

GTA 5 star Ned Luke has called out the use of his voice as part of an unofficial and now-removed Grand Theft Auto 5 AI chatbot from WAME.

GTA 5 AI Michael: a middle age man with short brown hair and a grey suit jacket and open white shirt

Monday, January 15 A WAME statement sent to PCGamesN has been added to the bottom of this article

Ned Luke, the actor who portrays Michael De Santa in GTA 5, has called out the company WAME for the unlicensed use of his voice as part of a Michael AI chatbot, saying there’s “nothing cool about ripping people off.” Since Luke came out in protest of the chatbot, it looks like WAME has deleted all relevant tweets and the actual chatbot itself from the internet. This follows Grand Theft Auto 5 maker Rockstar Games shutting down an AI mod for the game last year.

The GTA 5 AI mod let you talk to NPCs with your real voice, before Rockstar parent company Take-Two issued a DMCA takedown of the mod and a video showcasing it in the sandbox game. Now, Luke is raising concerns over how AI company WAME has used his voice to make an AI chatbot of Michael from GTA 5, seemingly without his or Rockstar’s permission.

“This is f***ing bulls*** WAME,” Luke writes on Twitter/X. “Absolutely nothing cool about ripping people off with some lame computer estimation of my voice. Don’t waste your time on this garbage.”

Luke then tagged Rockstar Games and the SAG-AFTRA union, seemingly in an effort to bring the use of his voice and the GTA character to their attention. Since Luke tweeted this last night the chatbot and tweets promoting it have been deleted, but I can confirm that it was freely available to use yesterday, on January 14.

WAME says on its website that “Our vision revolves around harnessing the power of AI to amplify individuality and personal achievements,” adding that it is “committed to creating a platform where every person can explore, express, and elevate their unique identity and potential, supported by our advanced AI technology.”

GTA 5 AI Michael: a tweet from Ned Luke about WAME using AI of his voice

In an earlier, now-deleted tweet about the Michael De Santa AI chatbot, WAME called him “the protagonist of GTA 4,” after asking if there are “Any GTA fans around here?”

This talk of using voice actors and turning them into AI without consent follows an outcry from videogame voice actors after their union SAG-AFTRA announced a deal for AI voices to be used by developers. Many videogame voice actors claim they weren’t even approached about the deal, which is “opt out” for any that choose so.

In a statement seen by PCGamesN, SAG-AFTRA says that the deal, which only applies to Replica Studios, “is ensuring the ethical application of these technologies in a way that ensures the use of members’ voices occurs only with informed consent.”

I’ve reached out to both WAME and Rockstar Games regarding the use of Luke’s voice for an AI chatbot and will update this article if I receive a response.

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Since the initial publication of this article, WAME sent PCGamesN the following statement:

“In light of the recent controversy surrounding the utilization of Mr. Ned Luke’s voice in our application, we at WAME wish to express our profound understanding and concern. This incident has highlighted the intricate interplay between the advancement of AI technology and the ethical and legal realms.

“WAME commits to protecting the rights of voice actors and creators while advancing ethical AI practices. We believe this controversy serves as a pivotal moment in harmonizing AI technology with relevant legal statutes.”

WAME adds that the AI chatbot was removed following Luke’s response and reflects its “commitment to responsible practice and acknowledges the oversight in our initial approach.”

If you fancy jumping into Los Santos yourself, we’ve got a breakdown of some great GTA 5 cheats, alongside everything we know about the elusive GTA 6 release date as well.

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