Zelda Williams, the daughter of renowned actor Robin Williams, has publicly expressed her disapproval of artificial intelligence (AI) reproductions of her later father’s voice, calling them “personally disturbing.”
What Happened: According to a report by Business Insider, Zelda Williams voiced her concerns about AI-generated imitations of her deceased father’s voice in an Instagram story. She also criticized the controversial practice of AI replicating voices of actors who are unable to provide consent.
“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.
Why It Matters: An outspoken critic of AI replacing actors, Zelda Williams previously criticized a director’s intention to digitally recreate the late James Dean in a film in 2019. This recent outcry comes in the midst of a growing debate around the use of AI in the entertainment industry and the protests by SAG-AFTRA.
Industry veterans including actor Tom Hanks and voice actor Brad Ziffer have also expressed concern over the use of AI deepfakes, with Ziffer actively avoiding job opportunities that might result in an AI-generated voice clone.
This issue was a major point of contention during the Screen Actors Guild strike, where protection against AI misuse was a substantial demand.
The misuse of AI in voice cloning has been a rising concern, with cases where research lab ElevenLabs’ Prime Voice AI was leveraged for voice cloning abuses. The company later considered additional safeguards in response to the significant number of misuse cases since the launch of its beta platform.
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