Play.ht hits GDC 2023: After Action Report Play at GDC 2023. A recap.

By Hammad Syed in Info

March 29, 2023 5 min read
Play.ht hits GDC 2023: After Action Report

Generate AI Voices, Indistinguishable from Humans

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First order of business: we were overwhelmed by the positive response to our AI voices during GDC. We want to offer a huge thank you to everyone who came by our booth and had a chat with our team. 

Your surprised faces upon hearing the quality of our AI voices makes all the work we do worth it. We’ll continue to do our best adding features and quality to keep the surprises coming. Thank you once again!

Our Outlook on AI Voices in Gaming Development

Obviously, we believe that AI voices have a bright future in game development. With the technological advances brought by large models like ours, AI voices are becoming more realistic and more capable of directly engaging players during their sessions. 

Dialog is becoming more immersive, with professional voice actors spending hours in the booth. However, with AI voices and procedural generation, we’re looking at the holy grail of gaming becoming a reality. 

Limitless content available for player consumption, narratives that evolve with permanence, and connections to well-loved characters are all becoming within the industry’s grasp. Of course, there’s production efficiency gains to be made too. Gaming is a huge industry with a lot of investment that sometimes locks out smaller studios and teams from competing with AAA budget sizes. 

AI voice generation can help even the playing field, especially as we perfect the technology and introduce directable vocal performances. Here’s a couple of scenarios that we thought of after talking to people at GDC and investigating how they could best use AI in their workflows:

  1. Pre-production voice fits: Use AI voices to test scripts from your narrative directors, see how a line sounds with real human emotion behind it before paying for voice actor hours.
  2. In-production: If the characterization calls for it, you can use AI voices to fill in the main and side character dialog. If you want a specific vocal performance with a specific actor, a licensed voice clone can lock in the performance you’re looking for.
  3. Post-production: AI voice clones and AI voices can be utilized to fill in voice work if your chosen actor is not available for post-production edits and re-reads. DLC for live service games becomes a lot easier to make when you have a voice clone of your actor at that moment in time. Voice qualities can change over time and in different rooms so having a voice clone of the exact character performance is advantageous for consistent performances.

As a final point, using AI voices presents an opportunity to transform the gaming world. Given their talent in producing infinite content and deep conversations, they are proving themselves as increasingly feasible alternatives for game creators both big and small. 

As this advancement continues to develop into more intricate forms, we are confident that AI vocalizations will gain greater acceptance within game development processes. This is certainly an exhilarating period for gamers everywhere, with much unseen progress waiting on the horizon!

Making Gaming More Accessible with AI TTS Voices

Another area where AI voices can make a huge difference is in making PC games more accessible. Text-to-speech (TTS) technology can help bridge the gap between gamers who have difficulty reading text and those who don’t. AI TTS voices can make gaming enjoyable for a wider audience by providing audio cues and narration. 

We’re dedicated to exploring how AI TTS voices can be used to make gaming more accessible for all players. We’re also developing accessible plugins in game development engines that can work seamlessly with more purpose-built accessibility tools. 

Our current stance is that AI TTS, when player selectable, allows for a greater variety of experiences for players looking for those accessibility options without feeling like they are stuck with a robot voice. With our technology, it’s even possible to have in-game characters be part of that accessibility experience.

We’ve seen larger games offer screen and menu readers within their settings menus but this still remains out of reach for smaller studios. We hope our technology makes this feature more available to people in the future. If you’re interested in learning more about how AI voices can transform the gaming world and make gaming more accessible, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us

Generative AI Tools in Use Today

Generative AI tools like ours are already in use today but usually only focused on image generation for game assets. Right now, you can ask for a specific texture in Blender or Unreal and get something pretty good. Sometimes the artistic qualities are a little lacking but the path is being forged right now, which is exciting. 

By leveraging Play.ht’s vocal model, these game asset tools can generate a wide variety of voices tailored to the game’s design. If you had a chance to visit our GDC booth, you’ve already heard some amazing outputs for gaming-centric voices that capture post-processing effects, emotion, and performance variety. 

Naturally, we expect to be featured in more media (you may have heard us on a recent South Park episode) as our partnerships with production studios develop. Our goal in the gaming industry is to make the experience even more immersive and engaging, as players can form a connection with AI characters and feel more involved in the game. 

We are very excited to be utilized more and more in the industry in the coming years and have forged interesting partnerships with media and gaming studios already. We’re working on collaborating with the people creating these worlds for players, and it’s some of the most exciting work we’ve done yet.

Thanks again to everyone who made our GDC2023 experience so great. See you next year!

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Hammad Syed

Hammad Syed

Hammad Syed holds a Bachelor of Engineering - BE, Electrical, Electronics and Communications and is one of the leading voices in the AI voice revolution. He is the co-founder and CEO of PlayHT, now known as PlayAI.

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