Stephen Fry 'shocked' after his voice was stolen from Harry Potter audiobooks and replicated by AI
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The 66-year-old began speaking about the union SAG-AFTRA strike, which launched in May over working conditions and pay.
Another main concern for the union is how studios have attempted using the likeness of actors without consent and fair compensation.
Fry claims that he had already fallen victim to this issue.
“I’m a proud member of [actors’ union SAG-AFTRA]. As you know, we’ve been on strike for three months now. And one of the burning issues is AI,” he told the crowd, as per Fortune.
The writer proceeded to play a small clip of an AI system replicating his voice for a new documentary.
Full body chills.
“I said not one word of that—it was a machine. Yes, it shocked me,” he said.
“They used my reading of the seven volumes of the Harry Potter books, and from that dataset an AI of my voice was created, and it made that new narration."
Fry added he never consented to have AI mimic his likeness, and once he sent it to his agents, they went ‘ballistic’.
However, he warned that ‘this is just the beginning’.
“It won’t be long until full deepfake videos are just as convincing,” he continued.
“What we have now is not what will be. When it comes to AI models, what we have now will advance at a faster rate than any technology we have ever seen. One thing we can all agree on: It’s a f**king weird time to be alive,” Fry added.
In July, SAG-AFTRA chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said AI would be ‘groundbreaking’ for the industry but for the worst.
“They proposed that our background performers should be able to be scanned, get paid for one day's pay, and their companies should own that scan – their image, their likeness – and should be able to use it for the rest of eternity in any project they want, with no consent and no compensation,” he said, as per The Register.
According to Backstage, producers said they would pay extras around $100-200 to use their likeness forever. I mean, peanuts, really.
Crabtree-Ireland added that generative AI poses an ‘existential threat’ to the livelihood of actors.
"Currently the streaming model has undercut performers' residual income and high inflation has reduced members' ability to make ends meet," he continued.