GTA’s Michael actor goes nuclear at AI chatbot that stole his voice

GTA’s Michael actor goes nuclear at AI chatbot that stole his voice
Images via Ned Luke Instagram | Rockstar Games

Written by 

Tom Chapman


16th Jan 2024 16:20

While Ned Luke has been acting since 1984, most will likely know him for his video game alter ego of Michael De Santa. As one of the three protagonists in the most profitable entertainment product of all time, Luke's role as De Santa in GTA V cemented him in the history books.

Even though his only other video game credit is some uncredited motion capture work in Red Dead Redemption 2, he's still riding the wave of GTA V fame. Alongside Shawn Fonteno and Steven Ogg, Luke has been forever shackled to GTA - for better or for worse.

Ned Luke goes nuclear at AI chatbot

Michael De Santa GTA V promo art
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Image via Rockstar Games

As reported by PCGamesN, Ned Luke has gone nuclear at an AI chatbot that has unofficially been ripping off his voice. Luke has clapped back at WAME for the unlicensed use of his voice for a Michael AI chatbot. 

Rockstar parent Take-Two Interactive issued a takedown of a GTA 5 AI mod last year, but before it was pulled, you could use your real voice to speak to NPCs. Luke highlighted WAME as a problem, questioning how his voice was used without his permission. 

Posting on Twitter, Luke said, "This is f***ing bulls*** WAME. Absolutely nothing cool about ripping people off with some lame computer estimation of my voice. Don’t waste your time on this garbage." He also tagged Rockstar and the SAG-AFTRA union. 

WAME has since deleted all tweets and the actual chatbot. It also gave PCGamesN a statement saying, "In light of the recent controversy surrounding the utilization of Mr. Ned Luke's voice in our application, we at WAME wish to express our profound understanding and concern.

"This incident has highlighted the intricate interplay between the advancement of AI technology and the ethical and legal realms. WAME commits to protecting the rights of voice actors and creators while advancing ethical AI practices."

The statement concludes, "We believe this controversy serves as a pivotal moment in harmonizing AI technology with relevant legal statutes." This comes after a vocal backlash against AI being able to replicate voices, with the likes of Mass Effect's Jennifer Hale and Metal Gear's David Hayter calling out these practices. 

GTA fans are convinced Michael will be back in GTA 6

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A post shared by Ned Luke (@ned_luke)

The first trailer for GTA 6 confirmed those long-held rumours that Lucia would be the female protagonist of GTA 6, with her currently unnamed partner thought to be Jason. This is obviously only the tip of the iceberg, and with Rockstar teasing the biggest game ever made, we're expecting a few more familiar faces.

Despite GTA V's multiple endings, the good ending where Michael, Franklin, and Trevor all survive has been canonised by GTA Online. With this in mind, the rumour mill is in overdrive that the terrific trio will return in some capacity. Even if GTA 6 is going to Vice City, that doesn't mean we won't be stopping by Los Santos.

Luke has been typically quiet on his potential return, but a quick scan of his social shows he clearly has a lot of love for Michael and is happy to interact with fans - unlike a certain Mr. Ogg. He's been sticking close to GTA, and when the first trailer came out, Luke said he couldn't get over the game's 'massive' asses.

Fans have been calling for Michael's return, and Luke continues to stoke the fires. Rockstar hopefully has pockets big enough to tempt him back, but if not, it looks like it doesn't matter because chatbots are already ripping him off.

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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