Robin Williams’ daughter calls AI recreations “disturbing”

Robin Williams’ daughter, Zelda, has come to the defense of her late father, comparing AI recreations to Frankenstein’s Monster.

Robin Williams

One of the greatest losses of the past decade – perhaps in most of our lifetimes – was that of Robin Williams, who tragically died in 2014. Now, his daughter Zelda is lashing out against companies trying to use not just her father’s likeness, but that of any human being in the industry.

In a series of Instagram stories (via Deadline), Zelda Williams said recreating her father through the use of artificial intelligence was beyond bad taste. “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.” She added, “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. 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.”

While it’s important that she is defending Robin Williams, Zelda is clearly hitting on a wider point amid the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. However the AMPTP wants to sell it – and we’ve seen their pitch –  use of artificial intelligence is partly designed to take work away from, you know, people. It, too, robs individuals, estates and families of monetary compensation for the use of a digital likeness. And, of course, they are by and large pretty ugly. As she adds, “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.”

This, too, brings up the topic of artistry. Is there art behind artificial intelligence? One could argue either way but I would say there is a level of it, yes, in that it does demonstrate a degree of creation and interpretation. But it also misses out on one other key element of “art”: what, when it comes down to it, is there to appreciate?

As the realm of artificial intelligence continues to expand and, to many, run wild, let’s at least root for one certain recreation of Robin Williams – Jamie Costa’s brilliant reimagining of the actor in a performance that, dear readers, we just didn’t petition hard enough to bring to the big screen.

What is the best or worst use of AI when recreating an actor? Give us your pick below.

Source: Deadline

About the Author

2017 Articles Published

Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.