I recently came across a discussion in one of the online forums about a trend on one of the super-low-budget casting platforms: voice actors having their human-voiced work rejected by the buyer because the buyer believes it was created with an AI voice model.
Now, I make it my purpose to stay abreast of conversations in all corners of the industry, and even though the platform in question is not one where I participate, the discussion raises a larger point.
As synthetic voice technology improves, there will naturally be voice actors who look at deploying a voice clone to perform auditions, (especially on casting sites and for other lower-budget work,) and even actual jobs, as a means of improving efficiency and maximizing revenue and productivity. In fact, there has already been discussion of this being done on more mainstream platforms like Voice123 and others.
Which, of course, begs the question: Is it ethical?
The discussion regarding the super-low-budget platform centered around a growing dissatisfaction among buyers, (and mind you this is occurring in the micro-budget space, so one can only assume that the reaction would be amplified among higher-dollar buyers,) with voice actors trying to game the system with voice models. Apparently this is so prevalent that even actual human-voiced work is now falling under suspicion.
This is telling, of course, as if even Fiverr-level buyers are rejecting synthetic voices then all of the industry panic may well be even more of an overreaction than I’ve previously suggested.
More importantly, though, it leads to a dilemma with regard to the morality of using AI voice clones to audition for jobs or deliver them without clearly disclosing this is what one is doing.
Here’s what bodalgo CEO Armin Hierstetter had to say when I asked for a comment for this article:
“In theory, a talent could use an AI version of their own voice to audition for jobs posted on bodalgo, provided they have a model of their voice themselves. Talents then might choose to do so for jobs on the lower end of the spectrum to save time.
Would bodalgo prohibit this? Probably not, at least not right from the start, as I feel, the decision to use AI models of their own voice is the talent’s one. But bodalgo would monitor the situation very closely. bodalgo is very focused on the quality and relevance of auditions. If the number of auditions per job would explode because talents start to AI audition for the jobs just because they can (and not because they are really a good fit), there might be some adjustments which could include:
1. Clients can choose during job posting whether they accept AI auditions at all.
2. Talents would have to indicate whether auditions uploaded are AI-generated. Failing to do so truthfully could impact membership.”
So, I ask, what do you think? Is it ethical to audition with a voice clone without disclosing it? Should casting sites ban the practice?
Leave your comments below!