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This article was published on January 25, 2021

Skyrim modders are using AI to generate new spoken dialogue

The tool has already produced an impressive fan-made trailer

Skyrim modders are using AI to generate new spoken dialogue Image by: Marco Hazard
Thomas Macaulay
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Thomas Macaulay

Writer at Neural by TNW Writer at Neural by TNW

If you’re unimpressed by some of Skyrim’s hilarious dialogue, a new AI app called VASynth lets you take over the scriptwriting.

The tool uses voice samples from Bethesda games to convert text into speech.

You can generate dialogue in the style of many voices from the publisher’s back catalog, including Skyrim, Fallout 4, and Morrowind.

YouTuber Adriac used it to produce a pretty impressive trailer — although the tone of voice sounds slightly artificial at times:

Others are using it for more quirky creations, like this mod that forces characters to compliment your naked body:

The tool was created by software developer Dan Ruta, who said it’s powered by a field of deep learning called neural speech synthesis:

The use of neural speech synthesis leads to natural sounding voices, something which is very difficult to do with more traditional methods involving concatenations of existing data. It also means new vocabulary can be generated, outside of what the voice actors have already read out.

[Read: How this company leveraged AI to become the Netflix of Finland]

The models used for each character are trained on in-game voice-acted lines.

After generating the audio from a text prompt, you can control the emotion and emphasis of the lines by adjusting the pitch and the duration of individual letters.

If you wanna try it out for yourself, Ruta’s produced a handy video guide for users and a more detailed text tutorial. You can drop him a tip for his work at the app’s Patreon.

Whether it’s a harbinger of doom for professional voice actors or just a fun way of customizing dialogue, the tool shows AI can have a powerful role in video game modding.

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