CD Projekt RED used AI voice clones for the polish language version of Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty. Following the death of voice actor Miłogost Reczek, the studio used the technology to create new voice lines for the game.
Via Bloomberg, the late Miłogost Reczek was a popular Polish voice actor that passed during production of the Phantom Liberty DLC. Following permission from the actor’s family, Reczek voice was recreated with AI to finish his work.
Cyberpunk 2077 devs CD Projekt RED revealed that it did consider replacing the iconic voice actor following his passing to continue the character. However, the team didn’t want to replace the actor’s original work in the sprawling RPG.
CD Projekt localization director Mikołaj Szwed explained that the team “didn’t like this approach”. Szwed explained that the Polish voice actor’s performance was “stellar” and “one of the best Polish voice talents [ever]”.
CDPR paid to use the AI voice clone service Respeecher to create the new lines in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty. The same tool that actor Val Kilmer now uses for his voice following a battle with throat cancer, the tool used previously existing work to create a synthetic version of the actor’s iconic voice.
With permission from Reczek’s sons, the team used the AI voice actor to finish his work on the game.
“This way we could keep his performance in the game and pay tribute to his wonderful performance as Viktor Vektor,” Szwed explained.
While consensual and compensated AI voice clones are fine, many are scared of the rising trend of generative voice clips cloning an actor’s sound. AI song covers and generative hate speech have started to spread across the internet.
With human actors and voice actors scared of being replaced with AI, recent strikes are aiming to ban or limit companies from being able to axe humans in favour of computers.