The voice behind Persona 5 hacker Futaba Sakura, Erica Lindbeck, has quit social media after being bullied by AI techbros that stole her voice. After attempting to confirm AI voice cloning, the Persona 5 voice actress was harassed online until she decided to abandon the platform.
Lindbeck revealed on Twitter that she was aware of AI song covers that use virtual clones of her voice. The voice actress requested that the song cover be taken down for using an AI model trained on her voice without consent.
The video in question was a cover of Bo Burnhan’s viral song “Welcome to the Internet”. Uploaded by themusicalcreeper7584, the video quickly garnered thousands of views. While the original creator respected the Persona 5 voice actress and her wishes for the song to be removed, AI fanboys and people who liked the original video bullied the voice actress for not wanting her voice manipulated.
Alongside hateful comments that reek of cyber bullying, Twitter commenters claimed that the Persona 5 voice actress was entitled for not wanting her voice used in ways she didn’t agree to. These commenters then re-uploaded the original video and used the re-uploads to taunt Lindbeck, saying “you can’t make me take it down.”
Following the online harrasment, Lindbeck deleted both their Twitter and Instagram accounts, going dark from her online communities. While the pro-AI crowd took this as a victory, numerous high-profile voice actors took to their own Twitter accounts to defend her stance on artificial intelligence.
AI voice cloning has become a major issue for celebrities and voice actors. Used in high-profile releases such as Disney’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, voice actors are worried that AI is going to either replace jobs or reduce wages in the field. The technology has also been used to make celebrities sound like they’re reciting hate speech.
The technology, a form of audio deepfake, has also been used in crime. In one example, a teenage daughter’s voice was cloned and used in a faux kidnapping call to trick a mother into paying hostage money.
With no regulations surrounding deepfakes and voice cloning, the easily accessible technology is becoming a major issue across the world. Until regulations are in place, anyone is able to steal someone’s voice and use them for any purpose they want.