Ubisoft accidentally used text-to-speech to voice a character in the new Prince of Persia game

Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown launches next week, but players are likely to encounter an amusing bug as they make their way through the game, as reported by IGN. One of the game’s NPCs is voiced by a text-to-speech program, complete with the slightly robotic tones we’ve come to associate with these services. 

It’s not quite Siri or Alexa, but it’s close and certainly doesn’t fit the game’s Persian-inspired setting. The NPC-in-question is a tree spirit named Kalux and seems to be voiced by a TTS program that’s available online for free and typically used by streamers.

This isn’t an “AI is coming for your jobs” type thing, but rather a mistake on Ubisoft’s part, as each and every other NPC is attached to a voice actor. IGN notes that Kalux doesn’t have a voice actor in the credits. Additionally, Kalux only has a few lines, so it likely won’t be a tough fix to assign an actor to deliver that dialogue. Ubisoft has readied a day-one patch, but it won’t handle the Kalux issue. Look for another patch in late January or early February that replaces the bot with a human.

Ubisoft confirmed the error and said that the “English version of these eight lines of text for this character were not properly implemented,” going on to note that the game has more than 12,000 lines of dialogue across multiple languages. Game developers often use TTS services and AI voices to create placeholder dialogue, which is eventually replaced by human actors. The company just forgot to handle this one character.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown releases on January 15 for just about every platform out there, including the Nintendo Switch and PC. It’s the first franchise installment since 2010’s Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. This is a Metroidvania-style platformer that brings the series back to its 2D roots. Reviews are mostly positive, with many praising it for offering a true AAA Metroidvania experience in the spirit of Nintendo’s recent-ish Metroid Dread.

However, just because this particular instance was a mistake, doesn’t mean that AI-enhanced TTS services aren’t going to radically change the industry. CD Projekt Red recently used AI to include a deceased actor’s voice in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty and SAG-AFTRA recently struck a deal with an AI voice acting platform to make it easier for actors to license their voice as a digital replica for use in games.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/ubisoft-accidentally-used-text-to-speech-to-voice-a-character-in-the-new-prince-of-persia-game-193448687.html?src=rss 

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