A patent has been unearthed that shows EA is working on a technology to enable you to voice your own in-game characters.
Character creation in its sports games and RPGs have offered a wide selection of graphical options to customise avatars, but imagine if your character also sounds like you. That'd make a future Shepherd-style lead in Mass Effect 5 feel even more personalised, for example.
However, considering in-game dialogue usually takes weeks to record, especially when the game offers branching options, it's never been possible. Until now.
AI could be used by the gaming giant to record you saying a few key phrases and an intelligent synthesiser could do the rest.
The patent, titled "Generating speech in the voice of a player of a video game", was originally filed in 2020, but it seems even more relevant now that AI speech creation is more advanced. It was spotted by Very Align Gaming (and tweeted by @NextGenPlayer).
EA new patent would allow players to voice characters in games themselvesYou would input speech and then the tech would replicate your voice for in-game charactersWould you use this? 🤔See more: https://t.co/e5RvTUSvmG pic.twitter.com/GnKogh22D7November 28, 2023
There's no actual mention of the use of artificial intelligence, but it seems feasible that a form of deep fake technology could be utlised.
"A computer-implemented method of generating speech audio in a video game is provided. The method includes inputting, into a synthesiser module, input data that represents speech content," it reads.
"Source acoustic features for the speech content in the voice of a source speaker are generated and are input, along with a speaker embedding associated with a player of the video game into an acoustic feature encoder of a voice convertor."
A diagram shows the path the software could use.
Of course, there's no indication of the system's use in any forthcoming Electronic Arts games as yet. And, considering how long ago the patent was filed, there's no guarantee it'll even come to anything.
There might even be some privacy and legal barriers to overcome, considering the game will effectively be cloning your voice, but just how cool would it be to hear your custom golfer talk like you in the next PGA Tour? Or, to hear yourself across the wasteland in a future Battlefield?
Interesting times, for sure.