‘We Won’t Need Sara’: Actress Learns She’s Been Replaced by AI

Key Points:

  • Sara Poyzer replaced by AI in voice services by BBC.
  • Controversy over AI’s use in creative industries.
  • Voice Squad agency denounces AI replacing human talent.


Stage and voice actress Sara Poyzer recently revealed that she was abruptly replaced by artificial intelligence, according to a message she shared on social media. The email from an unnamed production company informed Poyzer that the BBC had approved the use of an AI-generated voice, rendering her voice services unnecessary.


Poyzer received an outpouring of support from fans and fellow artists, highlighting the impact of this decision on creative professionals. The BBC confirmed that they would utilize AI to narrate a documentary involving a contributor who can no longer speak due to their condition. The broadcaster assured transparency by disclosing the AI usage in the film prominently.


This incident is part of a broader trend where AI technology is increasingly employed in content creation. From generating images to music and now even voices, AI tools have reshaped the landscape of creative production. Notably, the use of AI to replace human talent has sparked debates within the industry, echoing concerns raised during the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.


While the BBC faced criticism over AI-generated marketing images for Doctor Who, they have defended their decision while expressing regret. Voice Squad, the agency representing Poyzer, voiced disappointment over the production company’s response, emphasizing the threat that AI poses to skilled artists who have dedicated years to honing their craft.


The evolution of AI, exemplified by innovations like OpenAI’s Voice Engine, has facilitated the rapid creation of various forms of content with minimal human input. By requiring only a short sample of recorded speech, this technology can convincingly clone voices, showcasing the advancing capabilities of AI in content generation.



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