Some of the voice actors from Obi-Wan Kenobis had digital help, but Lucasfilm won't reveal who the film will be released

Some of the voice actors from Obi-Wan Kenobis had digital help, but Lucasfilm won't reveal who the f ...

If you have ever seen a Star Wars show on Disney Plus, there''s a good chance youre familiar with Respeecher''s work, whether it''s realize it or not. The Ukrainian company''s AI-powered voice cloning platform provided Mark Hamills with a de-aged vocal performance in both The Mandalorianand The Book of Boba Fett, as well as for an as-yet-unidentified character in Obi-Wan Kenobi. For the time being,

Polygon spoke with Respeecher CEO Alex Serdiuk to understand a process that for many enthusiasts no doubt borders on sacrilege. Serdiuk emphasized the human element behind the platform itself. We use our technology and services to create bespoke performances for one (or perhaps even two) of the Star Wars saga''s most iconic characters. So, we can also use our technology to alter and alter their voices to respond to certain situations.

So far from the mental image evoked by term like artificial intelligence and voice cloning that of a sound engineer running lines of dialogue through a computer algorithm that then throws out audio files Respeechers work on Star Wars is surprisingly performance driven. While Darth Vader himself might be more machine now than man, if the Ukrainian company is supplying his voice (and remember, we say if) the character''s essence is still quite flesh and blood.

There is no artificial intelligence available yet, and I doubt it would be possible, and it might let us use it only on a turnkey basis to produce the performance we wish to create. [] It takes all of the performance, all the acting from what we call a source voice, and then we do the conversion.

Moreover, the Respeechers pipeline allows actors like Hamill to record different takes just as they would on an actual set, which the company''s experts may later modify at their end based on notes from showrunners like Jon Favreau or Deborah Chow.

Each line might be recorded tens of thousands of takes for studio projects and films, and that means that we might need to convert all of those [in to the younger voice], send them back, and maybe even send different versions because we used to train different models with different settings. Can you possibly try to make [a line reading] sound a bit more like they ask? and we would also try to make it more similar to the one used in your petition.

So, is it the ultimate goal in reimagining a traditional performance using nontraditional methods in The Mandalorianor The Book of Boba Fett, as if Hamills lines were somehow transmitted directly from the set of 1983s Star Wars: Return of the Jedi? The objective is to make it sound as though it was recorded yesterday in the studio by the target voice themselves, according to Serdiuk.

Even if viewers think about the drums used in The Book of Boba Fett, Serdiuk believes that the synthesized performance of Hamills is likely to sound artificial, particularly in The Mandalorian, thanks to small yet significant improvements in how Respeechers'' AI model was developed to emulate the actors vocals. At the same time, the CEO is quick to point out that although many fans thought the Jedi Masters voice was also synthetic until Lucasfilm made a special several months later.

While the Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett had many years of experience, Serdiuk says the data was limited, and that tapes were used, and the video game, according to Serdiuk. This means that this data must be sufficiently trained in your model to produce the output quality that would fit into a modern production. This may be the main obstacle in many applications that involve aging or resurrecting, since there is a lack of data and the ability to sound good.

The CEO of Respeecher believes that overcoming these data-related challenges is worthwhile now that industry professionals like Lucasfilm have embraced their work. [We] started with the idea of developing a synthetic speech [platform] on the level where it would go through sound engineers and Hollywood studios and land in large productions. So, when they accept our sound, when they say something good about the sound we were able to produce and that''s a complex and complex technical challenge, it really encourages us and helps us grow,

I said to Serdiuk that the increasing use of voice cloning techniques might mean that studios no longer require skilled soundalikes to stand-in for deceased actors, for example. Wouldnt Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in which Guy Henry imitated the voice of Grand Moff Tarkin as the kind of project that would automatically land on Respeechers desk now? Not necessarily, according to Serdiuk, who sees Respeechers voice cloning technology as one of

There are always varying perceptions about how things should be done in the sector, and the viewers have different opinions. Serdiuk said that if Lucasfilm ever solicited Respeecher to recreate the voice of a dead actor, the company would only do so without the approval of the actors estate. Even as Serdiuk claims that Lucasfilm is a repeat customer, the company has made significant in-roads for voice cloning technology.

Serdiuk already has a vision for Respeechers'' future that extends beyond de-aging actors voices, although he remains optimistic that what the company has planned will broaden filmmakers'' artistic horizons, rather than shrink them. He talks about democratizing the technology so that smaller film and television studios and video game developers may expand their budgets further. He also discusses the company''s new health care solutions, including one example where the voice actor has lost their voice to allow them to perform again.

Serdiuk has lost sight of what it takes for Respeecher to be a part of a certain space opera set a long time ago in a distant galaxy. It''s something special, right? From a technical perspective, they have been disrupting the industry, from the start, and the way they do their movies is incredible. So, it''s a big honor to be able to work with those people and learn from them.