Zelda Williams, daughter of late comedy legend Robin Williams, recently took to social media to express her vehement disapproval of artificial intelligence recreations of her father’s voice.
AI usage is one of the issues at the heart of the ongoing Hollywood actors strike, with actors fighting to prevent studios from using AI-generated images in the place of humans. In a post to her Instagram Story, Williams said she is "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/re-create actors who cannot consent, like Dad," she 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 far beyond my own feelings."
Actors slam AI using their images
Williams' remarks come as Disney plans to use her father’s voice in a new short film, Once Upon a Studio. Robin Williams’s Aladdin character, Genie, will appear in the film.
The Screen Actors Guild's (SAG-AFTRA) chief negotiator, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, previously revealed that studios proposed "performers should be able to be scanned, get one day’s pay, and their companies should own that scan, their image, their likeness and should be able to use it for the rest of eternity on any project they want, with no consent and no compensation."
AI was central to the writers strike, which was recently resolved, with studios agreeing not to use artificial intelligence to write or rewrite scripts, or as "source material" to adapt. Actors are hoping to use the writers' deal as leverage as they return to negotiate with studios this week.
"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," Williams continued. "These re-creations 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.”
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