Robin Williams’ Daughter Slams AI Recreations of Him as ‘Disturbing’: ‘At Their Worst’ They Are a ‘Horrendous Frankenstein Monster’

Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda took to Instagram (via Entertainment Weekly) to rail against AI recreations of her father, the legendary comedian who died in 2014. Zelda called these recreations “personally disturbing.”

SAG-AFTRA has listed AI recreations as a “a mandatory subject of bargaining” in its ongoing strike against the AMPTP, including “the use of performer’s voice, likeness or performance to train an artificial intelligence system designed to generate new visual, audio, or audiovisual content.”

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“I am not an impartial voice in SAG’s fight against AI,” Zelda wrote on Instagram. “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.”

“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 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,” Zelda concluded, “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.”

Many actors, directors and writers have publicly railed against AI since the strikes began over the summer. Tim Burton blasted AI recreations of his directing style by comparing them to “robots taking your humanity, your soul.” John Cusack said the Hollywood studios were running a “criminal enterprise” with AI, adding, “Studios wanna have extras work one day, scan them – own their likeness forever – and eliminate them from the business…That’s what AI is – a giant Copyright identity theft.”

Just recently, Tom Hanks took to social media to warn fans about an AI version of himself being used to sell dental plans online. And during his “Oppenheimer” press tour this summer, Christopher Nolan told Wired magazine that the writing has been on the wall about AI for quite some time.

“The growth of AI in terms of weapons systems and the problems that it is going to create have been very apparent for a lot of years,” Nolan said. “Few journalists bothered to write about it. Now that there’s a chatbot that can write an article for a local newspaper, suddenly it’s a crisis.”

Nolan said the main issue with AI is “a very simple one” and relates to the technology being used by companies to “evade responsibility for their actions.”

“If we endorse the view that AI is all-powerful, we are endorsing the view that it can alleviate people of responsibility for their actions—militarily, socio­economically, whatever,” Nolan said. “The biggest danger of AI is that we attribute these godlike characteristics to it and therefore let ourselves off the hook. I don’t know what the mythological underpinnings of this are, but throughout history there’s this tendency of human beings to create false idols, to mold something in our own image and then say we’ve got godlike powers because we did that.”

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