On January 9, SAG-AFTRA entered into an agreement with artificial intelligence (AI) voice technology company Replica Studios.
Replicas can create and license digital replicas of actors. Sag Atlas under “fair and ethical” conditions. agreement. Licensed audio can be used in AAA video games and “other interactive media projects” from pre-production to final release.
The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is an American labor union representing 150,000 film and television professionals.
Yesterday, SAG-AFTRA announced a historic agreement with Replica Studios. This is the first agreement between a union and an AI company. The protections SAG-AFTRA provides actors are needed in all areas of entertainment, but especially when it comes to AI. pic.twitter.com/tUQez1XZ6q
— Nava (@NAVAVOICES) January 10, 2024
Utilization of SAG-AFTRA and AI technology
This development came as a shock to many, given SAG-AFTRA's original position on the use of AI technology. In September 2023, union members voted to authorize a strike for people in the gaming industry, and he also voted 98% in favor of authorizing a strike in the event of negotiations. President Fran Drescher said artificial intelligence is reducing work opportunities and putting members at risk.
SAG-AFTRA members voted to authorize the strike ahead of contract negotiations with studios, networks and streamers.
The actors union plans to go on strike if a fair contract is not offered by June 30th. If a strike were to occur, production would likely be halted completely. pic.twitter.com/sY4JqO4nmY
— AHS Zone (@ahszone) June 6, 2023
However, the negotiations called for protections around AI in the areas of transparency, consent, control and compensation.
Members of the voice-over performer community speak
The deal was approved by affected members of the union's voiceover performer community, even as they explored new revenue opportunities provided by AI.
This agreement guarantees the consent and negotiation of performers to users of digital audio. This therefore requires the opportunity to opt out of continued use in new works. All of this is clearly stated in our established minimum terms and conditions.
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher said the best protection against fraudulent digital simulations of member voices is the SAG-AFTRA contract.
He says the partnership with Replica Studios is a great example of AI done right.
Recent developments in AI technology make it important to protect the rights of voice actors. This is especially important for game studios looking for efficient ways to create games.
Ethical Human Resources Compensation and Consent
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator, said they have achieved full informed consent and fair compensation for the use of SAG-AFTRA members' voices and performances. He said:
“This agreement provides full informed consent and fair compensation for the use of members' voices and performances.”
He said the agreement will give companies better access to SAG-AFTRA talent. Access to these people is done in an ethical manner to ensure their consent and compensation for their contributions.
According to Shreyas Nivas, CEO of Replica Studios, the company is proud to partner with SAG-AFTRA to introduce an ethical approach to the use of emerging generative AI.
Importantly, it opens up new opportunities for the world's leading AAA studios. These studios will be able to access the benefits of Replica's AI voice technology with the full knowledge that their talent will be fairly compensated and recognized for the use of their likeness. I did.
Additionally, the audio agreement ensures that game developers using the Replica platform are only licensed personnel who have given permission to use their audio as a training data set. This is in contrast to the west of AI platforms, which utilize unethical data scraping techniques to clone and synthesize voices without proper permission from the talent.