Movies

Director of Anthony Bourdain’s New Documentary Labeled ‘Unethical’ for Using AI-Faked Voice

‘Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain’, which is helmed by Oscar-winning director Morgan Neville, narrates the personal life and tragic death of the late celebrity chef.

AceShowbiz -Director of Anthony Bourdain‘s new documentary has sparked outrage. Having admitted to using AI to fake the late celebrity chef’s voice in “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain“, Morgan Neville found himself being labeled “unethical” by many internet users.

The 53-year-old first made the revelation when sitting down with The New Yorker. “There were three quotes there I wanted his voice for that there were no recordings of,” he said, before confessing, “I created an A.I. model of his voice.”

“If you watch the film… you probably don’t know what the other lines are that were spoken by the AI, and you’re not going to know,” the filmmaker went on. “We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later.”

In a separate interview with GQ magazine, Neville revealed that he and his team “fed more than ten hours of Tony’s voice into an AI model.” He further divulged, “The bigger the quantity, the better the result. We worked with four companies before settling on the best. We also had to figure out the best tone of Tony’s voice: His speaking voice versus his ‘narrator’ voice, which itself changed dramatically of over the years.”

“The narrator voice got very performative and sing-songy in the ‘[No Reservations]’ years,” the Oscar winner continued. “I checked, you know, with his widow and his literary executor, just to make sure people were cool with that. And they were like, Tony would have been cool with that. I wasn’t putting words into his mouth. I was just trying to make them come alive.”

Morgan has since drawn criticism after his interviews made their way online. One Twitter user argued, “I feel like using AI to make Anthony Bourdain’s voice appear to say something that he never actually said is not ONLY wildly unethical but also something that Anthony Bourdain would absof**kinglutely hate on account of it being ghoulish and awful.”

Another sent similar sentiment, “This is incredibly unethical, especially for a documentary. You don’t get to speak for the dead, even if they were his own written words.” A third, meanwhile, suggested, “Let’s all pass on the unethical Anthony Bourdain documentary.”

“Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” narrates Anthony’s rise from New York kitchens to worldwide fame, his personal life, search for happiness and his shocking 2018 suicide. It had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 11 and is set to be released on July 16 by Focus Features.

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