Robin Williams

AI versions of Tom Hanks and the late Robin Williams used without their consent

AI remains a contentious topic in Hollywood amid an ongoing actors strike over studio usage of the technology

AI versions of stars are starting to pop up without their consent, and the actors and their families are hitting back.

On Sunday, Tom Hanks took to Instagram to warn his fans that a fake version of himself, generated using artificial intelligence, is being used without his permission to promote a dental plan online. “BEWARE!! There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me. I have nothing to do with it,” Hanks wrote alongside a photo of an AI rendition of him from the clip.

The Oscar-winning actor has been outspoken about the use of AI within the entertainment industry, previously saying that AI could pose an “artistic challenge” in the future: “I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, and that’s it, but performances can go on and on and on and on,” Hanks said on The Adam Buxton Podcast in May. “Outside the understanding of AI and deep fake, there’ll be nothing to tell you that it’s not me and me alone. And it’s going to have some degree of lifelike quality. That’s certainly an artistic challenge, but it’s also a legal one.”

Meanwhile, Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda took to Instagram to slam AI recreations of her father, who passed away in 2014. Zelda called the recreations “personally disturbing.”

“These recreations are, at their very best, a poor facsimile of greater people,” Zelda said, adding, “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.”

The use of AI remains a contentious topic in Hollywood, especially amid an ongoing actors strike over studios usage of AI to digitally recreate and generate onscreen performances. The actors’ union SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) is in the process of seeking stricter regulations against such technology. SAG-AFTRA and studios are slated to resume negotiations Monday.

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