Actors launch campaign against AI 'show stealers'
By Chris Vallance
Actors' livelihoods are at risk from artificial intelligence (AI) unless the law changes, a union warns.
Equity, the performing arts workers union, has launched a new campaign, "Stop AI Stealing the Show".
AI can use samples of an actor's voice or face, to generate content including so-called "deep fakes".
"From automated audiobooks to digital avatars, AI systems are now replacing skilled professional performers" the union says.
It warns of "dystopian" consequences unless copyright law adapts.
Equity highlights a number of different ways actors' voices and likenesses may be used.
For example actors may work with AI firms to create systems that can generate artificial voice-overs or to help them create digital "avatars".
And "synthetic" performances can be created using AI, in some cases even allowing deceased actors to appear in films.
While AI-generated performances can be a useful creative tool, the union is concerned that actors may not always be able to control the use of their likeness, or their likeness may be used without consent or adequate remuneration.
AI generated "deep fake" videos of celebrities have become increasingly popular online.
Actor Talulah Riley who supports the campaign told the union "As a performer, it is vital that my voice and my image are my own, no matter how easily and cheaply those things can be digitally replicated. I believe that performers must be rewarded fairly for the content we create."
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