Should The Simpsons Cast Be Replaced With AI Voice 'Actors'?


With most of the actors who voiced characters on the simpsons well into retirement age and the show seemingly having no intention of ever stopping a meeting. Cut wallover at wired. Uk wondered. could the actors all be replaced with a i rep locations. It makes a bit of sense off the bat. Near the proliferation of deepfakes circulating online aside major movie franchises have increasingly been patching together old footage of actors who have passed away like carrie fisher and the rise of skywalker and paul walker and furious. Seven or even just to fabricate a younger version of an actor who coincidentally had an entire body of work from their teenage years to use as reference points like robert. Downey junior in captain. America's civil war and will smith in jimmy man and with the simpsons. You only have to create the voice shortly. that's far easier especially with over three decades of content to pull from wired turn to tim. Mixed smithers canada-based. Ai researcher and media producer. Who builds a speech model that can be trained to mimic anyone's voice and notably has already recreated homer simpson for a few youtube videos including one where homer stands in for julia roberts in notting hill. Here's how he does it. Quoting wired mic smithers built generic. Ai model that can turn any text into audio speech in english when he wants to make a new voice he tunes the model further with two or three hours of new data of that particular person. Speaking along with a text transcript it focuses in on what makes a homer voice a homer voice and the different frequencies. He says after that it's a matter of asking the model to generate multiple takes. Each one will vary slightly and choosing the best one for your purposes and quotes bonnets. The performance is pretty flat as wired. Says it's quote as if he's reading out something that he doesn't really understand the meaning of and quotes which is pretty apt for homer still in the hut the performance. The show would probably be looking for there are other startups around. The world. Likes an antic in the uk and replica studios in australia. That are working to add. Some of that emotional resonance to a voice is using actual actors to help train them performing different lines over and over again with different emotional tones. Technically if you had someone recite all the existing phonemes in the english language or redescendu since that contained them all you should be able to then piece together any possible words. He wants but in reality. People's accents emotions can change things just slightly enough to make the process exceptionally challenging. Although absolutely doable and the time it takes to train the ai decreases over time with more data. Both semantic and replica studios who work primarily with video games where. There's a lot of intriguing possibilities with things like getting a character to say the player's name or whatever. The player wants them to or having a i basically work as a stand in until a real actor comes on board both of those companies say the actors they work with get paid anytime their voices are used in a game and this is a key element for me. Not just what rights doesn't actor have if they're only ever used to train in ai and not perform roll themselves so to speak but taking this back to the simpsons what rights do actors have whose voices are recreated to be their characters the screen actors guild affords actors certain bargaining rights over the use of their likeness. Which does explicitly extend to a performer's voice and while his protection is being rapidly expanded and reexamined as technology evolves you can impart think crispin glover for its origins after crispin glover declined to revive his role as george mic. Fly in back to the future. Part two they technically recast him. But they saddled the new actor. Geoffrey wiseman with prosthetics and employed classic stage tricks like having him upside down or wearing sunglasses to obscure his features as well as the use of some footage of glover himself from the first movie. Unless you were well aware that glover hadn't returned for the sequel. You probably wouldn't have had any idea that the george mcphee racine was any different from the first movie so glover sued the producers for using his likeness without his permission and for not paying him for the use of the footage. He shot for the first movie. But the legality of all of this now banned far beyond simply using a performance likeness and in many cases. Who is allowed to do what isn't so clear. There's copyright law which could give authority to the studio or whoever owns the rights but that counteracts with the right to publicity basically crispin glover thing and that's especially tenuous with cast as well known as the ones from the simpsons. You know a lot of people know these actors and if in a i replicated homer were out there. Advertising for some product people might assume dan castellaneta who voices homer is endorsing the product even if he had nothing to do with it so it's a tricky path to tread and personally. I'm a bit wary about the idea of ai. Replacing actors were any type of artists. Mean that's not to say that i don't want. Ai involved in arts. I think various tech can produce really rad art. I just don't think it can replace human-made arts and especially with something like the simpsons you know on the one hand. It's been on so long that it's the perfect fodder for ai. Replicated voices because then it could live on beyond the actors. And i guess honor them in some way but on the other hand. It's been so long that there are countless voice actors out there who can nail the characters voices perfectly and probably with more emotion.

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