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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Is a Computer Gunning for Your Job?

Computer voices are doing commercials and around the world...
As a vo actor, I'm not concerned. 
1) Computers cannot act. If one day they do get that ability, I doubt that will be in my lifetime. 
2) Even if this is in my lifetime, we already have protections in place at the union for such technology. If my voice is sampled/lifted/used elsewhere, I am compensated. If my voice is sampled/lifted/used in a national commercial, feature film, or series, I am compensated quite well due to our residual formula. So I give all filmmakers my blessing to sample/lift/use away!!
And Larry Vigus nailed it. The biggest threat is to celebs/politicians. This technology can "adjust" statements to say anything the program user wants to make the celeb/politician say.
In this day and age of political correctness, where entire careers/lives are irreversibly damaged due to comments that go viral, this I feel is the most frightening aspect of this technology.
-Bob Bergen

In the 1980's a PhD published paper titled "Casting Call at Forest Lawn" was distributed to the SAG Board. It told of using long dead artist with enough voice and/or movement footage for commercials and even entirely news films, once the processing power was high enough to pull it off realistically.
That said I add my voice to Bob Bergan. Even the best actors of the past had specific acting styles that fit the time and the project, listened to the other actors, the set, the plot and so on as true professionals. Can a computer do that, even with a famous "synthespian" to draw on?

Art Lynch
Lynch Coaching

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