Movies FB

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain Spoiler Space

Unlike other ‘Spoiler Spaces’, I’m just going to flat out spoil whatever’s been fueling the discourse about the film, and hey it can’t be anything more unethical than what the film has done:

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, out today in the US, supposedly includes three instances in which computer technology is used to mimic the voice of the late Parts Unknown host.

Filmmaker Morgan Neville confirmed this to The New Yorker, revealing that AI was used to make it sound like Bourdain was reading aloud an email he sent to the artist David Choe.

“There were three quotes there I wanted his voice for that there were no recordings of,” Neville said.

After providing a software company with “about a dozen” hours of recordings of Bourdain speaking, Neville was able to access an “AI model of his voice”.

“If you watch the film, other than that line you mentioned, you probably don’t know what the other lines are that were spoken by the AI, and you’re not going to know,” Neville said.

He added: “We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later.”

New Yorker writer Helen Rosner later revealed on Twitter than Neville had told her that the use of AI had been fully sanctioned by Bourdain’s estate.

Anthony Bourdain documentary Roadrunner causes controversy with use of deepfake to recreate late star’s voice

Discuss the implications here.