IBM sells Greg Marston voice for commercial cloning

Occurred: July 2020-September 2023

British voice actor Greg Marston discovered that AI-generated clones of his voice were being used by third-parties without his permission. 

Having discovered an 'eerily' similar voice to his own associated with a character named 'Connor' on the Wimbledon website, Marston realised that licensed voice recordings he had recorded for IBM in 2003 and to whom he had granted permission for its use, had been sold to third-party websites that were now using it to create synthetic voices able to say anything, anywhere, at any time.

The incident prompted concerns about the impact of AI on the livelihoods of artists, writers, actors, and musicians, many of whom are concerned that their work is being used to train AI systems that will result in loss of future earnings and which may eventually replace them entirely. 

It also prompted creatives to press technology companies to act ethically and ensure they are asked for their consent and are fairly compensated for their work. 

System 🤖

Operator: All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Developer: Revoicer
Country: Global
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Clone voiceactor's voice
Technology: Text-to-speech; Emotion recognition; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Employment; Ethics/values
Transparency: Governance