Is the Anthony Bourdain AI Voice in ‘Roadrunner’ an Ethical Lapse? Maybe So, but Documentaries Have Been Sliding Away From Reality for Years (Column)

I first learned that “Roadrunner,” Morgan Neville’s documentary about the life and death of Anthony Bourdain, contains three sentences spoken by Bourdain that he never actually spoke out loud in the same way that you learn about a lot of things these days: by seeing an eruption of outrage about it on Twitter. The eruption immediately sent me to the New Yorker article in which Neville, the award-winning director of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” and “20 Feet From Stardom,” first explained how he used AI technology to feed 10 hours of Bourdain voice recordings into a computer, which then simulated Bourdain’s reading of those sentences — every one

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