CNN’s Anthony Bourdain documentary faces backlash for ‘Deepfake’ voiceover – .

CNN’s Anthony Bourdain documentary faces backlash for ‘Deepfake’ voiceover – .

New CNN Films documentary on Anthony Bourdain makes noise after it was revealed the filmmaker used artificial intelligence technology to mimic the voice of the late celebrity chef, leading some to voice ethical concerns regarding the use of deepfakes.

Roadrunner: a film about Anthony Bourdain, which opened in theaters on Friday, uses AI to simulate the voice of Anthony Bourdain reading passages from email correspondence. Director Morgan Neville acknowledged the digital sleight of hand after The new yorker‘s Helen Rosner asked him how he found an audio recording of Bourdain reading from his own email.

Neville told the magazine, “If you watch the movie, other than that line you mentioned, you probably don’t know what other lines that the AI ​​said, and you won’t know. We can have a documentary ethics panel on this later.

His seemingly unapologetic response has sparked backlash among journalists and other documentary filmmakers who question the ethics of deepfake technology.

In a statement to Deadline, Neville claimed he was given permission to recreate Bourdain’s voice.

“There were a few sentences Tony wrote that he never said out loud. With the blessing of his real estate and literary agent, we used AI technology. It was a modern storytelling technique that I used in a few places where I felt it was important to bring Tony’s words to life.

Ottavia Bourdain, the ex-wife of the late chef who would be the executor of his estate, refused to allow the production to simulate the voice of Anthony Bourdain.

Deepfake videos have become commonplace online and on social media thanks to free deepfake software tools. But they have raised concern among politicians and celebrities who fear malicious videos will be created to hurt careers. Some even fear that deepfakes are being used by hostile countries to deceive American citizens and destabilize the United States.

Roadrunner: a film about Anthony Bourdain was produced by CNN Films, which is a division of CNN. The documentary is slated to air on HBO Max later this year and will also air on CNN on an unspecified date.

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Do you have any advice? Contact me at [email protected]


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