Zelda Williams has been addressing the attempts by AI technology to recreate the voice of her late father, Robin Williams.
In a year where we’ve seen a major actor once again digitally recreated in a major studio motion picture in spite of the fact that they’re no longer with us, the issue of consent is also bubbling up in the world of artificial intelligence too. Not unreasonably, there’s concern in the acting community in particular as to what happens to your image and your voice once you’re no longer able to say yes and no to things yourself.
AI has been 2023’s major areas of contention in the film and TV industry, and amongst the many ways it’s being used is in recreating the voices of performers who have passed. One of those is reportedly the much-loved and much-missed Robin Williams, and his daughter has been making her feelings known on the matter.
Zelda Williams, posting on Instagram, addressed directly the ongoing push against AI from the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG), declaring herself “not an impartial voice”.
In her words, “I’ve witnessed for YEARS how many people want to train these models to create/recreate actors who cannot consent, like Dad. This isn’t theoretical, it is very very real”.
She added that “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. 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”.
She signed off her post, that you can find below, by arguing that the AI recreations are at worst, a “horrendous Frankenstein monster, cobbled together from the worst bits of everything this industry is”.
AI, understandably, is one of the key points in the ongoing actors’ strike that remains unsolved.
Williams’ original Instagram story post was found here.
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