Late star Robin Williams‘ voice and likeness has been recreated for “years” via AI, according to daughterZelda Williams.
Zelda, who is also an actress, took to Instagram Stories to open up about how artificial intelligence has become a “horrendous Frankensteinian monster” for impersonating celebrities, like her father. The “Mrs. Doubtfire” actor died in 2014 at age 63.
“I am not an impartial voice in SAG’s fight against AI. I’ve witnessed for YEARS how many people want to train these models to create/recreate actors who cannot consent, like Dad,” Zelda wrote. “This isn’t theoretical, it is very, very real. I’ve already heard AI used to get his ‘voice’ to say whatever people want and while I find it personally disturbing, the ramifications go beyond my own feelings.”
She continued, “Living actors deserve a chance to create characters with their choices, to voice cartoons, to put their HUMAN effort and time into the pursuit of performance. These recreations are, at their very best, a poor facsimile of greater people, but at their worst, a horrendous Frankensteinian monster, cobbled together from the worst bits of everything this industry is, instead of what it should stand for.”
The use of AI in Hollywood has been at the center of both the WGA and SAG strikes, respectively. While the Writers Guild of America has since reached a deal with the AMPTP, the SAG-AFTRA union is still on strike over the artificial use of actors’ recreated appearances in contracts.
Oscar winner Tom Hanks recently took to Instagram to warn followers against a dental ad campaign using his likeness. Hanks said earlier this year, “I can tell you that there (are) discussions going on in all of the guilds, all of the agencies, and all of the legal firms in order to come up with the legal ramifications of my face and my voice — and everybody else’s — being our intellectual property.”
He added, “I could get together and pitch a series of seven movies that would star me in them in which I would be 32 years old from now until kingdom come. Anybody can now recreate themselves at any age they are, by way of A.I. or deep fake technology…I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it, but my performances can go on and on and on. Outside of the understanding that it’s been done by A.I. or deep fake, there’ll be nothing to tell you that it’s not me and me alone, and it’s going to have some degree of lifelike quality.”