Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda slammed the “disturbing” use of artificial intelligence to recreate the late actor’s voice.
The 34-year-old actor/writer/director has spoken out against the trend of using AI to match celebrities’ voices and likeness — calling it a “Frankensteinian monster” — after discovering it was used to piece together Robin’s voice almost a decade after his death and she has thrown her support behind the ongoing strike by the SAG-AFTRA actors union which is rallying against the use of AI.
In a post on Instagram, Zelda wrote: “I am not an impartial voice in SAG’s fight against AI. 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.”
Zelda added of the strike: “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, 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 industrial action by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) union started in May and recently officially come to an end after a deal was reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), however, the industrial action by SAG-AFTRA remains ongoing until a deal is reached.
Zelda’s comments about the use of AI on her father’s voice come after it was revealed the late actor will be heard on screen again as his voice will be featured in new Disney short Once Upon a Studio.
He will feature as his Aladdin character, Genie, using previously unheard dialogue that was recorded prior to his death in 2014 at the age of 63. It’s believed the records are being used with the consent of Robin’s estate.