So here’s an article I never thought I would have to write being a Nintendo fan. Apparently, at CES 2024, a company called “Proto” was doing some hologram tests with the event participants. They were encouraged to go to the various AI holograms and ask them questions so they could test how they would interact. And somewhere in the mix of that, the Proto team decided to pop in a Mario hologram and let fans interact with it. As you can imagine, it was a weird experience for all involved.
To prove we’re not lying, here is a video from Twitter about the hologram and how it sounded…
So Mario was at #CES
But uh… who approved this abomination? 💀 pic.twitter.com/diG3axCJIG
— Greggory (@ProbChild_) January 10, 2024
Yep, that’s horrible. It’s so bad that Chris Pratt has a better Mario voice than this hologram! And that’s saying something… But the real question here was that of, “Did Nintendo approve this to happen at CES 2024?” Well, as IGN would later find out…no, they didn’t have permission to do that:
The AI hologram animation briefly seen today is an unfinished proof of concept tested for a client to demonstrate technological capabilities and innovation. It is not intended for commercial release. AARP and Nintendo were not involved in the inadvertent showing today. The fact that so many gamers of the world have taken notice shows that they are the best fans in the world and we salute them.
The reason many were so disturbed about this wasn’t just the bad Mario voice but because of the recent trend of AI-themed stories that have been haunting the entertainment world. SAG-AFTRA approved a contract to allow AI voices to be in video games, and then famed comedian George Carlin is set to “come back to life” via an AI program for a comedy special. While Nintendo does have a new voice actor for Mario, let’s hope they continue to use them, with this being proof of what happens if they let the AI have a foothold in video games.
And if you have more videos of this from CES 2024, let us know!