How Voice AI Can Create Opportunities for Game Developers?



Understanding the role of voice AI in game development.

The world today is wholly equipped with touchless interfaces that are evolving rapidly. Advances and developments of AI and automation have made it possible to handle and stimulate large scale works at a much faster rate and give a boost to processes. One of the areas that are more benefitting with such technologies is voice interface. From chatbots to the surging proliferation of voice assistants, the technologies are making us more intuitive to do our routine tasks easily just through commands. As it has been widely accepted in multiple formats across different market segments, these natural-sounding AI voices are now bringing new opportunities for creative, game developers.

Recent developments of algorithms have made voice AI more conceivable as they can take just a few hours of audio and synthesize highly realistic audio samples. This is the reason why video game companies have begun exploring the promise of voice AI for their video games.

Leviathan Games, one of the leading gaming companies in the U.S. that works with top brands and IPs for over a decade, started implementing voice AI within their games. Comparing with how 3D animation software developments have changed over the past decade, Wyeth Ridgway, the owner and technical director of Leviathan Games, explained that voice AI could change the game design in dramatic ways.

Voice AI works on deep neural networks. For example, WaveNet, a deep generative model of raw audio waveforms from DeepMind, was one of the first AI that could generate convincing, human-like audio samples. According to the company, WaveNets are able to generate speech that mimics any human voice and which sounds more natural than the best existing Text-to-Speech systems, lessening the gap with human performance by over 50 percent.

As sound samples are developed from scratch, there has been a lot of newer deep learning techniques that use LSTMs and GANs that allow AI to learn to say words with just a few hours of training on audio recordings.

The advances in research, with the escalation of cloud computing, enable the accessibility of voice AI more than ever. However, this may be the right time for game developers to capitalize on voice AI and unlock its significant potential to create more personalize and engaging storytelling. AI-generated voice models could even be trained on the voice of a specific voice actor. 

Voice actors like Simon J. Smith, are opening up new opportunities in voice acting. Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Witcher series have hundreds of thousands of lines of recorded dialogue. Voice AI solutions can bring significant savings for smaller studios, while also strengthening production quality. On the other side, for larger studios, it delivers time, cost, and production efficiencies.