Until someone does a fake video with him doing/saying something horrible.
And we all know that, given time, it will happen.
Another technological price we are foisting upon ourselves.
James Earl Jones, the actor who has voiced iconic Star Wars villain Darth Vader since 1977, has reportedly permitted his past utterances to be fed into an AI that will ensure his distinct tones become replicable once he becomes one with the Force. News that Vader will achieve digital immortality comes from report in Vanity …
What could be worse than his lines in 'Conan the Barbarian'???
I used to think I wanted a Garmin GPS unit that featured James Earl Jones' voice, but then I watched 'No country for old men,' and now I want one with Javier Bardem's voice. Can you imagine getting lost if THAT VOICE was telling you when and where to turn?????
Scratch that. I want Caboose's voice (Joel Heyman) from Red vs Blue on my Garmin because I'm old enough to not care when I get lost if its going to be that much fun.
I'd love to hear the early attempts. I recall seeing the voice mimicking capabilities were a few years ago, it was pretty impressive back then.
I hate to be that guy, but it kinda implies he may not be well. Or at his age they are becoming increasingly concerned about his voice legacy?
>I hate to be that guy, but it kinda implies he may not be well. Or at his age they are becoming increasingly concerned about his voice legacy?
He is 91. With the best will in the world and all the power of the force, he hasn't got much more than 20 years left - at best. This secures his use for future Star Wars projects *forever*.
So the question for James (and his agents company's 10%), will they (well his surviving family) still get royalty cheques from words uttered by the Respeecher of "James Earl Jones".
And for the media corporations involved after James becomes one with the Force, how will copyright work with GAN (Generative Adversarial Network) created content ? The sentences from the human written script will be protected by copyright (typically life of author+30 years up to life+100, depending on country - with the bulk of the world in the middle), but what will the legal status of the individual words uttered by the Respeecher of "James Earl Jones" ?
Initially I can see the copyright on background music being used to protect the individual words.
No new laws are required yet. This technology is only reproducing the "sound" of Vader's voice, not the content.
This has been done with JEJ's permission don't forget. There will be a contract in place to cover who gets paid, and under what circumstances.
How you can and can't use voices that sound just like famous individuals is already well covered too. We've had impersonators for as log as we've had celebrities, but you try using a pretend Morgan Freeman voice without permission in your latest TV Ad campaign, and see how far that gets you.
Words in isolation don't have a legal status. It's what you do with them that matters.
Yes I agree, but this is new legal territory, what happens once Morgan Freeman is dead ? And his GAN voice is used for the next 200 years ?
Oh and what is bleeding edge today will be common technology in 20 years time (once any patents around uniqueness have expired). Want to talk to your dead mother/father/brother/sister ? Do so freely with your "friends" at google, amazon and apple, "keeping your departed ones alive forever"™
Morgan Freeman? Maybe if I want to take a nap.
We need to wake people up, especially with boring material. Respeech Samuel "M-F'er" Jackson and dump in the King James Bible (Crown Copyright within the UK, essentially public domain everywhere else), with the AI allowed to add a few "blue" words here and there. That'll spice church right up!
(Reminds me of an old front-page article from "The Onion", circa 1998-2000, where Jesus made it clear the Afro-American community -- using the "n"-word, no less -- was his homies. Word.)
will they (well his surviving family) still get royalty cheques
That presumably depends on the contract. Maybe he got a lump sum payment for it that becomes part of his estate, maybe there are some residuals when it is used.
What I think will happen is that voice work will become a thing of the past before long except for stars with already recognizable voices. Rather than hiring a nobody "voice actor" for a part in an animated film (or a CGI character in a non animated film) they'll hire a computer that will be capable of becoming many voices. Only a few parts will go to actual human voice actors, the people with already recognizable voices.
Inevitably there will be lawsuits, because aside from those few highly recognizable voices most people's voices are similar to other people's voices. The people losing out from voice actor parts will sue if a movie uses a computer voice they think sounds like theirs. Or their heirs will sue - "this computer voice sounds like our dead mother we are hoping to sponge off of for the rest of our lives!"
So court battles will undoubtedly ensue, and maybe new laws will eventually be needed. Someday we won't even need actors. Once CGI is good enough to leap across the uncanny valley and reproduce humans (rather than raccoons, gollums and aliens) without needing actors wearing weird suits covered by dots, that is when the real legal minefield starts. They might even start suing on particular characteristics - if you create a computer actor with a vein in his forehead throbbing, will Clint Eastwood's family sue, etc.?
Disney being Disney, I'm surprised they don't just hire a sound-a-like. Voices aren't copyrighted the way someone's image is and voices of recognizable people (e.g. Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Vincent Price, Orson Welles etc.) have been imitated countless times.
They probably have a heap of voice actors on the books capable of imparting more nuance and character into Darth Vader than some computer.
The ability to digitally clone a voice is also somewhat insignificant next to the ability to destroy a planet. And if the Force was more powerful than the Death Star, why did they bother building it when Vader could just have blown everything up with his Jedi skills?
Anyway, they should open source this, then everybody could be Darth Vader all the time on their phone calls. Although the telcos might get a lot more complaints about heavy breathers.
I found a 25 year old video of me and a foreign lass talking to camera. I couldn't understand a single word I said while she was perfectly clear. So I agree with the open source comment, although maybe Robert Carlyle of Ewan McGregor would be more believable voices for me. Hell, Kelly MacDonald would be an improvement.
James Earl Jones' most frightening scene is as the officer cooperating with Major Kong (Slim Pickens) to open the bomb doors in the USAF B-52 advertorial film "Dr Strangelove".
Lieutenant Lothar Zogg : Backup circuits are switched on. Still negative function.
They are both trying so hard to start World War III.
The phrase negative function still resonates.