Scarlett Johansson takes legal action against AI app which used her name and likeness for an ad without permission
Scarlett Johansson has taken legal action against an AI (artificial intelligence) app which used her name and likeness for an advertisement just weeks after Tom Hanks was forced to warn fans over something similar.
The 38-year-old actress seemingly appeared in a 22-second ad which was posted onto X(formally Twitter) by an artificial intelligence image-generating app called Lisa AI: 90s Yearbook & Avatar.
Representatives for the actor confirmed to Variety that the wife of SNL star Colin Jost is not actually a spokesperson for the app and that her attorney, Kevin Yorn, has handled the situation in a legal capacity.
The lawyer told the trade publication: ‘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.’
The advertisement appeared on social media on Saturday, October 28 and has seemingly disappeared since.
Taking a stand: Scarlett Johansson has taken legal action against an AI (artificial intelligence) app which used her name and likeness for an advertisement according to Variety; she is seen in New York earlier this month
According to Variety the vanished advertisement began with an old clip behind the scenes her Marvel Cinematic Universe flick Black Widow as she says: ‘What’s up guys? It’s Scarlett and I want you to come with me…’
The site reports that a graphic then covers her mouth and it transitions to AI-generated photos which resembled the star as a fake voice imitating Johansson continued to speak to promote the app.
The AI Scarlett said: ‘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.’
According to Variety there was fine print on the ad which read: ‘Images produced by Lisa AI. It has nothing to do with this person.’
The publication notes that many states have strict laws when it comes to rights of privacy and that California provides a civil claim for the unauthorized use of one’s ‘name, voice, signature, photograph or likeness’ for the purpose of advertising or promotion.
Earlier this month fellow A-lister Tom Hanks found himself in a similar situation as he warned his fans that a dental plan advert that uses his image was created using artificial intelligence.
The 67-year-old Oscar winner told his 9.5 million Instagram followers that the video was used without his permission.
‘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.
The 38-year-old actress (pictured last month in New York) seemingly appeared in a 22-second ad which was posted onto X(formally Twitter ) by an artificial intelligence image-generating app called Lisa AI: 90s Yearbook & Avatar
Not pleased: Representatives for the actor confirmed to Variety that the wife of SNL star Colin Jost is not actually a spokesperson for the app and that her attorney, Kevin Yorn, has handled the situation in a legal capacity; she is seen in LA back in December 2021
The video still above the message appears to show a young rendering of the actor in a black shirt and suit jacket.
Hanks disabled comments on the post.
The Hollywood star has previously commented on the use of AI in the entertainment industry.
On British comedian Adam Buxton’s podcast in May he said: ‘We saw this coming. We saw that there was going to be this ability to take zeros and ones inside a computer and turn it into a face and a character. Now that has only grown a billionfold since then, and we see it everywhere.
‘I can tell you that there [are] discussions going on in all of the guilds, all of the agencies, and all of the legal firms to come up with the legal ramifications of my face and my voice – and everybody else’s – being our intellectual property.
‘Right now if I wanted to, I could get together and pitch a series of seven movies that would star me in them in which I would be 32 years old from now until kingdom come. Anybody can now recreate themselves at any age they are by way of AI or deepfake technology.’
He added: ‘I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, and that’s it, but performances can go on and on and on and on. And outside of the understanding that it’s been done with AI or deepfake, 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.’
Earlier this month fellow A-lister Tom Hanks found himself in a similar situation as he warned his fans that a dental plan advert that uses his image was created using artificial intelligence
Tom Hanks attends the New York premiere of Asteroid City at Alice Tully Hall on June 13, 2023
Some films that the actor has starred in have featured digitally altered versions of himself.
A CGI version of Hanks features in the 2004 computer-animated Christmas movie The Polar Express and he was also de-aged using AI technology in scenes from last year’s A Man Called Otto.
Keanu Reeves and Tom Cruise are among other actors who have been targeted by deepfakes that have been viewed by millions.
A deepfake is a video or recording created using AI that has been altered and manipulated to misrepresent someone as doing or saying something that was not actually done or said.
After a 148-day strike came to a close last week, Hollywood screenwriters secured significant guardrails against the use of artificial intelligence in one of the first major labor battles over generative AI in the workplace.
In the coming weeks, WGA members will vote on whether to ratify a tentative agreement that requires studios and production companies to disclose to writers if any material given to them has been generated by AI partially or in full. AI cannot be a credited writer, it cannot write or rewrite ‘literary material’ and AI-generated writing cannot be source material.
The tentative agreement between the Writers Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which negotiates on behalf of the studios, does not prohibit all uses of artificial intelligence. Both sides have acknowledged it can be a worthwhile tool in many aspects of filmmaking, including script writing.
Actor and SAG-AFTRA negotiator Frances Fisher, middle, raises her sign on a picket line outside Netflix studios on September 26, 2023, in Los Angeles
The deal states that writers can use AI if the company consents, but a company cannot require a writer to use AI software.
When the writers strike began on May 2, it was just five months after OpenAI released ChatGPT, the AI chatbot that can write essays, hold sophisticated conversations and craft stories from a handful of prompts.
Studios said it was it too early to tackle AI in these negotiations and that they preferred to wait until 2026.
Ultimately, they hashed out terms while noting that the outlook is certain to change.
Under the draft contract, ‘the parties acknowledge that the legal landscape around the use of (generative AI) is uncertain and rapidly developing’.
The companies and the guild agreed to meet at least twice a year during the contract’s three-year term.
At the same time, there are no prohibitions on studios using scripts they own to train AI systems. The WGA left those issues up to the legal system to parse.
A clause notes that writers retain the right to assert that their work has been exploited in training AI software.
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