James Earl Jones Allows A.I. To Replace His Voice As He Retires From Star Wars


Actor James Earl Jones has perhaps one of the most recognizable voices in history. Known for many generations thanks to his many film roles like Mufasa in The Lion King, Thulsa Doom in Conan the Barbarian and Mr. Mertle in The Sandlot. But he is perhaps known best of all as Darth Vader in the ever popular Star Wars franchise.

Sadly the 91 year old actor is getting rather old and tired, and his voice doesn’t have the strength it used to. Two examples include him returning as Vader for 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as well as Mufasa in the 2019 The Lion King Remake. In fact, in the Lion King Remake his voice was apparently so weak that they had to use some archived audio from the original 1994 film.

The actor recently decided to officially retire from the role that made him a household name. But instead of leaving the role of the dark lord of the Sith in the hands of a new actor he instead decided to sign away his voice.

A brand new artificial intelligence program from Ukranian based company Reespeecher has the ability to take archived audio recordings of individuals and can create complete new sentences using that voice. This program can not only recreate the voices of people who have aged out of certain roles, but could perhaps even bring back the deceased (in a way).

Like Ariel giving her voice to Ursela, Disney can now use his voice anytime they need Vader or Mufasa without having to pay another actor.

This does bring up the issue of A.I. taking over certain creative jobs from acting to writing and drawing/painting. This could lead to some sort of action to try and protect human rights from being replaced by A.I.

What do you think of this? Is it REALLY a performance when it’s just a computer? 

Source: Vanity Fair

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