The new Anthony Bourdain documentary ‘Roadrunner’ leans partly on deepfaked audio – ClearTips

on July 16, Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain Will open in US cinemas. Like many documentaries, the film puts together archival footage, including interviews and show outtakes, to attempt to tell the story of its subject in his own words. It also includes words that Bourdain never spoke to the camera before his death by suicide in 2018, and yet you’ll hear his voice say them.

in an interview with The film’s director, Morgan Neville, stated that there were three quotes he wanted Bourdain to describe where there were no recordings, and so he recreated them with software instead. “I made an AI model of his voice,” he told the magazine.

It appears that this was no easy feat either. a different , Neville said he contacted four different companies about the project before choosing the best company. That company fed an AI model about a dozen hours of audio. Much of the work involved in deciding the exact tone of Bourdain’s voice Neville wanted the software to replicate because the way the writer and travel host told his writing changed over the years on TV.

Compared to some of the other ways we’ve seen AI and deepfakes trick people, this isn’t the worst example, but its ethics are still questionable. The film, as far as we know, does not include the disclosure that AI was used to replicate Borden’s voice. “If you watch the movie, other than that line you mentioned, you probably don’t know what the other lines are spoken by the AI, and you wouldn’t know,” Neville said. the new Yorker. “We might make a documentary-ethics panel about it later.” in his interview with GQ, he said that Bourdain’s family had told him “Tony would be good with it,” and added, “I was just trying to make [the quotes] come alive.”

editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Engadget.

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