Scarlett Johansson sues AI app for cloning her voice in an ad

Scarlett Johansson has initiated legal proceedings against a developer of an AI app for unauthorised use of her name and likeness in an online advertisement, as reported by Variety. The contentious ad promoted the AI image editor “Lisa AI: 90s Yearbook & Avatar” and included an AI-generated rendition of Johansson’s voice.

In the 22-second commercial, viewers witnessed behind-the-scenes footage of Scarlett Johansson during the filming of “Black Widow,” where she was heard saying, “What’s up guys? It’s Scarlett, and I want you to come with me.” Subsequently, the ad shifted away from Johansson and presented an AI-generated voice resembling the actress, stating, “It’s not limited to avatars only. You can also create images with texts and even your AI videos. I think you shouldn’t miss it.”

Notably, the advertisement included a disclaimer at the very bottom, asserting, “Images produced by Lisa AI. It has nothing to do with this person.” Johansson’s representatives clarified that the actress had never endorsed the app. Her attorney, Kevin Yorn, has taken legal action on her behalf. Yorn affirmed, “We do not take these things lightly. Per our usual course of action in these circumstances, we will deal with it with all legal remedies that we will have.”

As AI technology continues to advance, cases like this highlight the potential for unauthorized use of celebrities’ likenesses and voices, presenting legal challenges in the age of easily accessible AI tools. Musicians have also faced similar issues with AI voice cloning, while deepfake technology allows for the creation of lifelike AI-generated likenesses without consent, posing ethical and legal dilemmas.

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