Al Michaels
(File photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Al Michaels 'Astonished' Over AI Voice Being Used For Paris Olympics

Legendary play-by-play man Al Michaels will be heard again at this summer's Olympics. But it will only be his voice that's in Paris.

It's true, as NBC announced it will use artificial intelligence software to recreate Michaels' voice to deliver recaps of the Summer Games for subscribers of its Peacock streaming platform. Obviously, this is a landmark decision, as no other major media outlet has openly embraced AI in this fashion.

Per CNN:

"The use of an AI voice for the Olympics comes as the technology has grown by leaps and bounds, particularly in its ability to create images, sound and text. That, in turn, has raised questions in creative industries, such as journalism, about how artificial intelligence can - or even should - be used.

"A new tool, called 'Your Daily Olympic Recap on Peacock,' will enable 10-minute highlights packages, which can include events updates, athlete back stories and other related content personalized by subscriber preferences."

Michaels admittedly was a bit skeptical.

"What would I sound like?" Michaels said, via Vanity Fair. "Would I sound like a guy who just spews clichés? Would my voice be different?"

Eventually, got to listen in ... and was sold on the idea.

"Frankly, it was astonishing. It was amazing," he said. "And it was a little bit frightening. It was not only close, it was almost 2% off perfect. I'm thinking, Whoa."

He echoed similar sentiments in the press release announcing the move.

"When I was approached about this, I was skeptical but obviously curious," he said. "Then I saw a demonstration detailing what they had in mind. I said, 'I'm in.'"

All of it leads to one question — is it Al or AI? From the sounds of things, we won't be able to tell the difference.