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AI & VOICE OVER
Casting Sites Sign On To NAVA's fAIrVoices
Pledge For Ethical Use of AI In Voice Over
May 17, 2023

(VOXtra) - Concerned about voicing a project that winds up in the AI world where your voice is cloned, synthesized and slid into future uses without your permission?

A protective shield will help, in the form of the fAIrVoices campaign and pledge - created and recently announced by the National Association of Voice Actors (NAVA).

The CEOs from five major voice over online casting services - along with recording studios, production companies and more - have already signed onto the pledge, promising to never use a voice actor's audio files for creation and/or training of AI without the voice actor's consent.

To date, casting sites taking the pledge are Voices(dot)com, Voice123, bodalgo, CastVoices and VOPlanet.

NAVA reports that Voices(dot)com has also changed its Terms of Service to "explicitly state that audio files and audio uploaded to the site will not be used by them for AI/Synthetic Voices/Machine learning."

Itself launched only six months ago, NAVA has become a leading advocate for ethical use of AI in voice over. (See recent series about protecting your vocal identity and AI contracts.)

Note: No one is saying "Don't record AI." Rather, be aware of what you're voicing, and be in control of the product's use.

(See below for the 5-point pledge.)

THREE AREAS OF CONCERN

"There are three main areas of concern for voice actors regarding AI," says NAVA President Tim Friedlander:

"Consent - meaning actors should have the right to decide whether or not they want their voice used for any purpose including AI.

"Compensation - meaning actors should be paid fairly for the use of their voice print and the licensing of their voice or likeness. And,

"Control - meaning that once a synthetic voice is made, the actor should be ensured that it stays where it is supposed to, and isn't used beyond the scope of any agreement made between the actor, AI company and end client."

NAVA Vice President Carin Glfry adds, "Our voices are our livelihood. If we don't have control over how those voices are used, we can't make a living."

NAVA states that the fAIrVoices campaign calls for:
  • The ability of the performer/artist to actively consent to use.
  • Explicit limits on use of the results and proceeds of an AI/Synthetic voice.
  • Ability to opt out, or term limits for AI/Synthetic voice use and Machine Training.
  • Appropriate payment for use.
  • Clearly denoted exclusivity.
  • Safe storage and tracking of the performer's voice, likeness, performance, and all products created from them.
  • Clear and explicit terms of service regarding the training, use, and/or distribution of AI and synthetic voices on any website voice actors use or are members of.
Friedlander adds to voice actors: "We hope this helps, but as always, read your contracts and Terms of Service on every job you do."

THE 5-POINT PLEDGE

According to NAVA, companies signing the fAIrVoices pledge agree to:
fAIr CONSENT
All users of a company's services should have the right to actively consent to the use of their sound files for the creation, training, and modeling of AI, Machine Learning, and Synthetic voice models.

fAIr COMPENSATION
All users should be fairly compensated, according to a mutually agreed upon rate and rate structure if a company ever wishes to use their voice or sound files for the creation, training, and modeling of AI, Machine Learning, and Synthetic voice models.

fAIr CONTROL
To the best of their ability, any company dealing with sound files or data containing the human voice should commit to safe storage and tracking of those files.

fAIr SOURCING
All files used for the training and creation of AI/Synthetic voice models should be fairly sourced, with active consent and knowledge of the person the files are sourced from.

fAIr TERMS
Any company which requires the signing of terms of service, will have clearly outlined terms of service which prohibit the unauthorized use of a person's data and sound files for the creation and/or training of AI/Synthetic Voice models and Machine Learning.
FOR MORE INFO ...

For more about the fAIrVoices pledge and how to join it, contact Tim Friedlander at tim@navavoices.org.

NAVA is a non-profit association created to advocate for and promote the advancement of the voice acting industry through action, education, inclusion and benefits. Its advisory board includes professional voice actors from all areas of the VO industry.

For more about NAVA and its programs, visit www.NAVAVoices.org.


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