Ninja Theory debunks the controversy that they are going to replace human actors in Hellblade 2 with artificial intelligence, and clears up the misunderstanding… at least on their part.
Ninja Theoryauthors of the acclaimed Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice and its next sequel on Xbox Series X, Senua’s Saga Hellblade 2, have gotten into a controversy this week that they have already denied by Twitter. The waters calm down with the theme of replace actors with AI (at least, for his part).
Responding to a concerned user who asked if they were really thinking of replacing human voice actors with Artificial Intelligence, Ninja Theory he says no.
“We use this AI technology as interim content to help us understand things like pacing and placement early in development. We then collaborate with real actors, whose performances are the heart that makes our stories come to life.“.
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Ninja Theory isn’t going to replace human actors with robots, but others might
The controversy began with an article by USATodayin which he went into detail about artificial intelligence technologies, capable of generating voices, tones, accents and emotions through a complex (but increasingly accessible) algorithm.
The article directly pointed out (accused) Ninja Theory as one of the studios that was using this technology, but without going into detail about how (“details remain secret,” the article said).
I even felt the irony of Ninja Theory using it after their Hellblade game has received so much applause for Melina Juergens’ portrayal of Senua, who returns for the sequel (both her voice and her body).
But, at least according to Ninja Theory, it is false that this technology is being used to save the use of voice actorsand it is merely one more tool.
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The article mentioned another game, The Ascent, that uses this technology to generate some voices through AI, although they are for secondary characters or NPCs without much weight, and the game does have a cast of a dozen voice actors, according to IMDB.
Naturally, Artificial Intelligence technology can be a viable and much cheaper substitute. it is worrying for the actors (like so many other guilds, too). But it seems that USA Today’s accusations towards the creators of Hellblade were baseless, or at least not the one hinted at in the article…