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Could AI destroy creative jobs like voice acting?

Will AI destroy creative industries? That’s the question plenty are asking after ChatGPT was forced to shelve one of its new artificial intelligence voices 

Scarlett Johansson 1. ChatGPT 0.

The Hollywood actress had a win when OpenAI shelved plans to use its Sky voice in ChatGPT, after Johansson complained that the voice was a rip-off of her own.

As reported by just about every media outlet on the planet – including The Daily Beast, who also produced this spiffy image of ScarJo – the actress was “shocked, angered, and in disbelief” at the resemblance of Sky to her own voice.

And OpenAI didn’t exactly come out looking squeaky clean when it transpired that chief executive Sam Altman had actually contacted Johansson about using her voice.

That’s after Altman posted what seemed to be a one-word acknowledgement that Sky’s voice was based on Johansson’s when he simply wrote “her” on social media platform, X.

Her was, of course, a 2013 movie starring Johansson and Joaquin Phoenix in which Phoenix’s character develops a personal relationship with an artificially intelligent voice assistant naturally played by – you know where this is going – ScarJo.

It prompted OpenAI to publish an embarrassing backtrack on the company’s website in late May.

“The voice of Sky is not Scarlett Johansson’s, and it was never intended to resemble hers,” the open letter reads.

“We cast the voice actor behind Sky’s voice before any outreach to Ms. Johansson.”

OpenAI eventually shelved Sky after Johansson complained, but a recent report in The Guardian suggests jobbing voice actors may not be so fortunate.

“Cheap AI voice clones may wipe out jobs of 5,000 Australian actors,” reads the headline of the report by Josh Taylor – with the Australian Association of Voice Actors (AAVA) telling a parliamentary committee that one Aussie radio network was already investing in AI to replace human voices.

And they cite audiobooks as “the canary in the coalmine,” given what used to be the labour-intensive process of recording them.

“When it’s an AI voice, I think they’re going to find that people just don’t bother with their audiobooks anymore,” AAVA’s president, Simon Kennedy, told The Guardian.

So is it inevitable that AI replaces jobs like voice actors in the creative industries?

And would you listen to an audiobook voiced by artificial intelligence?

Will AI destroy creative industries? Industry experts say it's already happening.

Will AI destroy creative industries? Industry experts say it’s already happening. Image credit: Lena Kudryavtseva / Unsplash

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