Anthony Bourdain's widow criticizes documentary's decision to fake his voice
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The widow of the late chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain says she did not give her blessing to the decision for a new documentary to recreate her husband's voice using artificial intelligence for parts of the film.

The film used AI to re-create Bourdain's voice saying three quotes that had never been recorded, according to The New Yorker.

"We fed more than ten hours of Tony’s voice into an AI model," documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville told GQ. "I checked, you know, with his widow and his literary executor, just to make sure people were cool with that. And they were like, Tony would have been cool with that. I wasn’t putting words into his mouth. I was just trying to make them come alive."

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However, Ottavia Bourdain, who married Anthony Bourdain in 2007 and separated from him in 2016, disputed that she'd given her blessing.

She tweeted Thursday: "I certainly was NOT the one who said Tony would have been cool with that."

The Washington Post and Variety reported the veracity of the tweet.

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Neville, distributor Focus Features and Ottavia Bourdain did not respond to The Washington Post's request for comment following the tweet.

Variety reported that AI was used to re-create Bourdain speaking for less than 60 seconds of the film.

However, the decision has raised criticism and questions over its ethics.

 

“We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later," Neville told The New Yorker of the use of AI in an interview earlier this week.