Mar 2, 2023

AI Is Taking Over A Crucial Part Of Movies And Workers Are Striking Against It

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

One of the often-overlooked parts of movie-making is how Hollywood blockbusters are distributed worldwide. While subtitles are common, dubbed audiences more widely embrace films to the point that certain native stars get associated with English-speaking performers. Variety reports that the Italian dubbing workers and voice actors are going on strike over the studios laying the groundwork to replace them with AI dubbing.

Italian voice actors and dubbing workers have been on strike since February 21st and will continue for at least another week. The complaints from the workers sound very similar to those of Marvel’s VFX contractors: low wages, long hours, and an unsustainable pace of work. Now that AI programs are becoming widely available and more cost-efficient than human work, the union worries dubbing will be fully overtaken by machines.

Rodolfo Bianchi, head of Italy’s dubbing director’s organization ADID, explained, “We are forced to sign contracts in which we give away the rights to the use of our voice, this also involves the use of our voice for artificial intelligence purposes.” AI is already capable of realistic deep fakes, including appropriating celebrity voices, and with how far the technology has come in a relatively short period, Bianchi’s fears are well-founded. While a computer program would struggle to match the tone and tenor of a voice during a dramatic performance, it can be done, and it can be done cheaply.

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