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Documentary On Anthony Bourdain’s Life Deepfakes His Voice – Faces Backlash

Creating documentaries and biographies in the form of movies and films is in vogue these days. The tradition is an old one and there are numerous precedents of this even from the past but quite recently, this trend has become popular again. Directors and moviemakers are searching through the people who achieved heroic things and were pictures of example, resilience, and dedication to making subjects of their new projects. These are made as a tribute to honor the struggles of these people. Some of these heroes have passed away while others are dignified in their lives by presenting these projects to them in honor of their commendable actions.

Recently, a new documentary is made about the famous American celebrity, Anthony Bourdain. He did multiple remarkable things in his lifetime. He was a chef, author, and traveler who documented all his treks. His main areas of interest and contribution were exotic cultures, cuisines, and general human behavior and circumstances. The documentary made is being called the Roadrunner.

The maker of this film is Morgan Neville. While the concept and the idea of this film are applaudable, Morgan Neville is facing backlash over something he added in the film. In order to amplify the impact of the film, he used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to use Bourdain’s voice for creating sentences that he did not say in real life.

In an interview with Helen Rosner with the New Yorker, the filmmaker was asked where he managed to get a recording of the celebrity reading an email. There, he explained that he acquired multiple samples of his voice from the recordings already available and outsourced the task of creating a voice generation of the celebrity reading the email from the provided excerpts. It is astonishing how technology can generate such clips that did not exist. However, the ethics related to this issue have made this a little complicated and are still under debate if it is morally correct to create such replications.