Naruto x Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections, the latest game based on the popular Naruto anime and manga, has come under fire by fans and actors for its alleged use of AI to replace certain lines of dialogue in the game. The topic gained traction on Twitter/X recently, especially by the game’s voice actors who noticed that their lines were potentially replaced or used without consent to generate dialogue through AI.
As reported by CBR, the voice actors for Naruto x Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections are just as confused as fans by the strange, monotonous delivery of lines that were allegedly implemented using AI. Maile Flanagan, the English voice actor for Naruto, expressed her concerns over the line “Wake you up!” that the character says in a flashback sequence. “I can GUARANTEE I did not say that line that way,” said Flanagan. “What’s that from? And I guarantee no voice director of Naruto or the games would have me do that in that way.”
Michael Schwalbe, the voice actor for Kawaki, also noticed the odd discrepancies in the dialogue. He even called out a line from Kakashi that he described as “straight text-to-speech.” Schwaibe sent some of the clips in question to a friend who ran it through an AI detection program and discovered that it AI was most likely used for the dialogue.
Okay, this needs an explanation ASAP. I sent a couple of these clips to a friend. He ran the audio through an AI detection program and look at these results. First is Wake You Up, then power of gaaahhd.
— Michael Schwalbe: h̵u̵m̵a̵n̵ a̵c̵t̵o̵r̵ concept (@WhatHeSaidVO) November 23, 2023
NOT KAKASHI TOO LORD PLEASE pic.twitter.com/7QkL9za8cI
— ShonenGames (@ShonenGameZ) November 15, 2023
As of writing, Bandai Namco hasn’t addressed these concerns not only brought up by players but also by the game’s voice actors themselves. It’s honestly a little worrying that gaming companies are beginning to adopt the use of AI, which is already a hotly debated topic in the creative fields. Most artists believe that AI has no place in art, be it video games, movies, television or music. The fact that these lines, which upon closer inspection definitely sound very “robotic” and lacking in emotion, were even allowed into the game at all is a big red flag.