Robin Williams' daughter, Zelda Williams, is speaking out about the use of artificial intelligence to re-create her late father.
In an Instagram story posted over the weekend, Zelda Williams addressed the threat that AI poses to the entertainment industry — a critical aspect of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike against Hollywood studios.
"I am not an impartial voice in SAG’s fight against AI," she wrote on Sunday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "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."
Zelda Williams disapproved of re-creating actors without their permission, expressing concern about the increasing use of her father's image and voice via technology and the ethical problems it raises.
"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," she wrote. "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."
Robin Williams died by suicide in 2014 at the age of 63 while struggling with depression, addiction, and Parkinson's disease. Zelda Williams has openly expressed her strong aversion of the fake representations of her father that have circulated since.
"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," she wrote.
Tom Hanks also voiced his concerns about the dangers of AI over the weekend, after a deepfake of him was used to promote a dental plan.
In an Instagram post, the actor posted a computer-generated image from the ad to clarify that he had no involvement in its creation.
He also voiced reservations about the use of AI in film and TV before the start of the Hollywood writers' strike.
"We saw that there was going to be this ability to take zeros and ones inside a computer and turn it into a face and a character," he said during an appearance on British comedian Adam Buxton's podcast.
"Now that has only grown a billionfold since then, and we see it everywhere.
"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 to come up with the legal ramifications of my face and my voice — and everybody else's — being our intellectual property.
"Right now if I wanted to, 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 re-create themselves at any age they are by way of AI or deepfake technology."
Zoe Papadakis is a Newsmax writer based in South Africa with two decades of experience specializing in media and entertainment. She has been in the news industry as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers, magazine and websites.
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