Anthony Bourdain’s widow says she did not use AI to lie to her husband’s voice on “Roadrunner”

Ottavia Bourdain, Anthony Bourdain’s widow, said she did not allow the use of artificial intelligence to recreate her husband’s voice in the new documentary “Roadrunner”.

Director Morgan Neville told GQ that he had taken Otavia okay to make an AI model of the voice of the host’s “Parts Unknown” voice, which was taken from an archival sound.

“I checked, you know, with his widow and his writer, to make sure people were cool with it,” Neville said. “And it was, Tony would be cool with that. I did not put words in his mouth. I was just trying to make them live. “

In response to a tweet on this quote, Ottavia Bourdain said it was not true: “Certainly not the one who said Tony would be good with it.”

Although Ottavia and Anthony Bourdain divorced in 2016, their divorce was not completed before his death in 2018, leaving her legally as his relative and therefore the executor of his estate.

In the GQ interview, Neville expanded on how he was able to recreate Bourdain’s voice: “We fed more than ten hours of Tony’s voice into an AI model. The larger the quantity, the better the result. We worked with four companies before we came up with the best. We also had to understand the best tone of Tony’s voice: his voice in relation to the voice of his “narrator”, which itself has changed dramatically over the years.

Shortly after Neville’s interview, the use of AI to approach Bourdain’s voice was criticized and an intense discussion began on social media about the ethics in dealing with documentaries of the dead

TheWrap has contacted Neville about the Ottawa statement and will let you know if we hear back.

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