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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

AI Recreates Deceased Actor's Voice for Cyberpunk 2077 DLC

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Photo credits: CD Projekt Red

CD Projekt Red, the developer of Cyberpunk 2077, has revealed that it used AI technology to recreate the voice of a deceased actor for the game's DLC, Phantom Liberty.

The actor in question is Miłogost Reczek, who provided the Polish-language voice for the character Viktor Vektor in the original game but passed away before recording lines for the DLC.

The decision to use AI to approximate Reczek's performance was made to preserve his original portrayal of the character. CD Projekt Red considered re-recording the role with a replacement actor but ultimately decided against it. Instead, the studio collaborated with Respeecher, a startup based in Kyiv, which provided voice cloning technology.

Localization director Mikołaj Szwed explained that the company obtained permission from Reczek's family to create an algorithm from his voice. This algorithm was then used to overlay the performance of another actor, Janusz Zadura, who recorded the new voice lines for Viktor Vektor in the DLC while emulating Reczek's style of speaking.

The use of AI in creative works, particularly in emulating deceased actors, has raised concerns about the future of performers and their digital likenesses. SAG-AFTRA, a union representing actors, has been advocating for protections regarding the use of digital likenesses and recently approved strike authorization for video game performers.

While AI has been used in the past to recreate performances of deceased actors in films, such as Peter Cushing in Rogue One and Carrie Fisher in The Rise of Skywalker, the use of Respeecher's technology in the gaming industry highlights the ongoing discussions and debates surrounding AI's role in creative works.

Respeecher has previously worked on high-profile Star Wars projects, synthesizing the voice of young Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian and providing the voice of Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi with James Earl Jones' permission.

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