The Finals, an upcoming shooter from some former Battlefield developers, is using AI-produced voice acting.
Voice actor Gianni Matragrano shared a series of clips yesterday of various lines from announcers in The Finals, questioning whether the game is using AI voice acting or not. Listening to the clip, the performances certainly sound awkward, with the pacing of numerous sentences sounding quite unnatural. Matragrano wasn't sure as to whether the voices were AI or not, but later shared a clip from a podcast from developer Embark Studios that did confirm that it is using AI voice acting.
As part of a podcast series about The Finals that came out in July called Meet the Makers, there was an episode that featured audio designers Andreas and Carl talking about the various sounds you hear in the game. At one point, the pair are asked about the voices in the game, with Andreas explaining, "So here's the kicker: what did the voice over? The thing is, we use AI with a few exceptions. All the contestant voices like the barks and both our commentators are AI text to speech.
"For things we call vocalisations like player breathing, vaulting, jumping, that's something we use us in the studio to record, like, just grunting. We can't really get the AI to perform those kinds of tasks yet, and since it's only excortive [sic] sounds they will mix pretty well with all the AI text to speech voices."
Andreas went on to explain that the reason the team has gone this route is because AI text to speech is "finally extremely powerful," noting that it "gets us far enough in terms of quality and allows us to be extremely reactive to new ideas."
For those unaware, SAG-AFTRA is currently on strike in one part because of streaming services like Netflix not offering proper residuals to actors, but also because of a fear of a growing use of AI performances. Many video game voice actors are concerned about AI voice acting threatening their livelihoods, and with The Finals utilising AI performances that fear is being put into practice.
VG247 has reached out to Embark Studios for comment.