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Voice Coaches Radio #607 – Is AI Causing A VO Strike?

Voice coaches, radio, everything voiceover.

Welcome to a brand new episode of voice coaches radio. My name is Marissa and the season's finally officially changing around here. I mean, there were a solid couple of weeks in October where I'm like, man. I don't think I've ever felt 80 plus degrees in New York State this late in the year. I'm not complaining.

It's been nice. I got to like regain my tan a little bit for a hot minute. Uh, but yeah, those were just like the, the, the lingering dog days of summer, if you will. And now here we are and uh, you know, really feeling what fall is all about. You know, that's a good reason why between that and rain, why some of the crops of apples and pumpkins and stuff haven't exactly, uh, been, been as.

You know, plentiful as they have been in the past, but you know, here we are. Uh, also by the way, you know, all the fall activities, I don't know why anybody would allow me to carve a pumpkin or give me a knife. I realize I'm an adult, but I still feel like I need adult supervision. So, yeah, dangerous situation.

I'm just a klutz. Uh, thankfully, no, no major scars. Just one little slip up. That's it. You know, I'm, I'm okay. But, uh, you know, there's been a lot of chatter. In so many industries, you just know that like, the writer's strike that happened in Hollywood, um, you know, the actors then soon followed in as a part of that strike.

The writers themselves came to an agreement, I believe the actors have now as well. But now, we're dealing with Voice actors, uh, potentially going and striking in the video gaming industry. And there's a lot of reasons, it comes down to A. I. And there's been a lot of chatter about A. I. Uh, I know recently I saw an article, it was Robin Williams daughter.

And just like infuri infuriated and just like disgusted with the fact that she has heard her father's voice replicated. And it used for certain things. And like... Nobody's asked. Like, there's been no approval of that. It's just happening. And it's... Honestly, it's creepy when you think about it, because, you know, we know everything with Robin Williams, and he was a great actor, comedian, and um, you know, just a great human overall.

But the struggles that he had and, and how his life was then taken by himself. It's like the last thing you want is, you know, the family to feel anything negative right now. And they are, uh, because, you know, his voice is being utilized without anybody's permission. And that just really, really sucks. And there does need to be something done.

You know, there needs to be some legalities over this. And, and like approvals and stuff when, when necessary. Uh, but the fight over... AI, I mean, really could truly shape the future of video games, uh, because, you know, it's all voiceover. And, and, you know, the, the thing that is the biggest concern for voice actors right now is that, you know, if you have them replaced by a computer, a robot, uh, seemingly, um, you know, the, the secondary payments that.

They survive off of all those residuals. They're irrelevant. They're no longer. You know, because you've been replaced by a machine. Uh, so it's like, you didn't do the work. The, the robot did the work with your voice. So, you're not gonna get that payment. And that... is very discouraging. Um, I know that there's a lot of different percentages and stuff that they're trying to work out.

It's like, you know, SAG AFTRA wants, I guess, an 11 percent increase for pay beginning as of last year, and then like a 4 percent increase for the coming, uh, you know, second and third years of the contracts that these, you know, people have with different companies and so on and so forth. And they are in the, the agreement process.

Uh, but if they can't come to an agreement, it's like, boom, there we go, another strike is about to happen. And these strikes really do need to happen, let's face it, because it's protecting us in the future. You know, it's, it's one thing for, like, automatic registers and stuff in Walmart, you know, and like, Okay, I can go ahead, I can swipe an item, cool.

Uh, but I, I feel like, you know, this is an art form. You know, that what we're doing here, you know, this is an art just like, you know, acting in general is an art and the writing process is, is an art and you know, they, they need to be protected, um, you know, and I think that's why these strikes are so imperative as we keep moving forward.

Um, but AI is one of those tricky things. And I've said this before, it's like. There, there does need to be some sort of legality that the, like, the government almost needs to get involved, um, you know, because next thing you know, it's like anybody's voice can be replicated and utilized without your permission until that That conversation happens and those laws go in place, um, and it's just kind of spooky.

It's kind of scary. So I kind of like, you know, reading these articles about, uh, these strikes because, you know, these are people, uh, fighting for, for our rights as we, You know, maybe a bet in the industry for a bit or maybe we're just kind of starting out and we're hearing all these little bits and it's like, ah, is this worth, you know, me venturing into a career of voiceover?

And it's like, yeah, I mean, if you love it, anything's worth, you know, venturing into. The last thing I ever want is for somebody not to try something just because there's some sort of technology that they're, you know, thinking that, oh god, this is going to go away in the future. This voiceover itself is never going to go away.

If anything, This technology that's come out with AI is just making it so we have to be better. You know, we have to be better at every human quality and emotion and feeling and, uh, the way that we present in any form of acting. Like, we need to make it as realistic as we can and believable and truthful as we can because No matter how they keep improving, this technology is never going to have that true human quality that we can bring if we keep putting the same care into, uh, into all that stuff.

So I think, you know, it's just, it's important. So keep getting better. Keep doing the things that you need to to improve, um, and we'll just keep an eye out and see what's happening and, uh, this potential strike because, yeah, I mean, it's gonna change the industry for, for our future in a very positive way once everything gets hammered out.

So, uh, we'll keep you up to date, but, uh, that is that for this episode of Voice Coaches Radio. Anything you want discussed, info at voicecoaches. com. And a brand new episode and getting ready for Halloween coming next. It's right here with Voice Coaches Radio. Stay safe, everybody.

Visit voicecoaches. com for more voiceover news and information.

This week on Voice Coaches Radio, Marissa found an article about AI and the challenges it’s causing for pro’s in the field of voice acting. The typical payday and residuals could be taken away due to a robot…what are they demanding and how are they choosing to fight the battle?