By: Nick Gambino
With the current onslaught of AI images, videos and audio hitting the internet, it’s not improbable we’ll see a similar wave of lawsuits over the unauthorized use of an artist’s likeness. This week brought news of one of these lawsuits.
Variety reports that Scarlett Johannson is suing AI company Convert Software for using her facial likeness as well as an AI-generated voice likeness in an ad for their app Lisa AI: 90s Yearbook & Avatar. In the ad, which appeared on X (formerly Twitter), they begin with a real video of the actress while she was on the set of Black Widow.
Partway through the real video, they transition to AI-generated stills and begin using an AI voice that sounds an awful lot like her. This is then used to promote the app and the creation of AI avatars, videos and text, something that Johannson has zero affiliation with. It wasn’t even like they were trying to be coy about it.
To be fair (I guess), they did include some sort of disclaimer at the bottom of the ad. “Images produced by Lisa AI,” the disclaimer reads. “It has nothing to do with this person.”
I’m no lawyer, so I can’t comment on whether or not that’s a sufficient disclaimer or even if it is, whether they have a legal right to use her likeness. The actress and her attorney clearly feel the AI developer is in the wrong.
“AI developers, especially the smaller ones, are going to keep testing the waters as to what is okay until enough legal precedent has been set to stop them,” Andrew Tropeano, Host of News Around America (www.newsaroundamerica.com), said about the lawsuit filed against Convert Software. “While AI is certainly a useful tool, there are clear dangers in allowing it to be used with zero regulation.”
There are already laws in the books in many states preventing privacy violations like this case seems to be about. I’m curious if anything happens with this lawsuit that helps beget new regulations as it applies to AI.