The Witcher Voice Actor for Geralt of Rivia Is Concerned About AI

Doug Cockle, the iconic voice behind Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher series, has voiced strong concerns over the growing use of artificial intelligence in the video game voice-acting industry. Cockle, who has breathed life into Geralt for nearly two decades, fears the technology could lead to unethical practices and threaten the livelihoods of voice actors.

This all was revealed in an IGN interview. While acknowledging the inevitability of AI advancements, Cockle’s anxieties stem from issues of unauthorized voice replication and potential misuse. He points to instances where developers have incorporated AI-generated background character voices, essentially replacing human actors without proper consent or compensation. This, he argues, sets a dangerous precedent and infringes upon the rights of voice talent.

“I was contacted nearly three years ago by an AI company who wanted me to put my Geralt voice on their database. And I said no, and I still say no. But that’s not because I don’t like AI. It’s because I think with voice actors, particularly with voice actors who do main character roles, it is a reality that people are ripping our voices off.”

Doug Cockle

Cockle’s worries extend beyond lost jobs. He expresses deep concern about the potential for AI-generated voices to be used for malicious purposes. Imagine, he warns, a scenario where someone uses deepfaked Geralt to spout harmful rhetoric or promote offensive, hateful, and racist ideologies. The reputational damage to both the character and the actor could be immense.

Despite his apprehensions, Cockle isn’t advocating for a complete ban on AI in voice acting. He recognizes the technology’s potential for enhancing game experiences, particularly in areas like expansive open worlds with countless NPCs. However, he emphasizes the need for responsible development and ethical implementation. Initiatives like Cissy Jones’, which aims to empower actors with control over their digital voices, offer a promising path forward.

Cissy Jones is another voice actor who is tackling this head-on by creating This is an AI company for actors to protect their voices when used in AI tools. Many other AI developers are aware of this potential problem and are working on solutions. The goal is to find a balance between celebrating fan-made content and protecting actors’ rights.

The anger isn’t directed at modders but at platforms enabling voice theft. These platforms make it easy for anyone to take a voice recording and use it for anything, regardless of the content or the actor’s consent. Cockle says that voice actors aren’t crying about lost money; they’re concerned about control and representation.