Scarlett Johansson Takes Legal Action Against AI Image Use

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Scarlett Johansson Takes Legal Action Against AI Image Use

By Movieguide® Contributor

AVENGERS star Scarlett Johansson is pursuing legal action against an AI app that used her likeness without permission in an ad.

“We do not take these things likely. Per our usual course of action in these circumstances, we will deal will it with all legal remedies that we will have,” Johansson’s lawyer, Kevin Yorn, told Variety.

The ad came to Johansson’s attention when it was posted on X. The endorsement began with an old clip of the actress on the set of BLACK WIDOW saying, “What’s up guys? It’s Scarlett, and I want you to come with me…” before the AI generation begins as a graphic covers the actress’ mouth.

The ad continued with an AI-generated voice that mimics Johansson, along with AI-generated images of her. “It’s not limited to avatars only,” the AI-generated endorsement continued. “You can also create images with texts and even your AI videos. I think you shouldn’t miss it.”

The ad, created for Lisa AI: 90’s Yearbook & Avatar, noted at the end of the video, “Images produced by Lisa AI. It has nothing to do with this person.”

As AI tools have become more mainstream, the widespread creation of deepfake images and videos such as this has been a constant worry. Already, California has created laws against the use of a person’s likeness without their permission, providing an avenue for legal action.

Movieguide® previously reported that AI attempted to recreate actor Robin Williams.

Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda recently spoke out against AI recreations of her father that imitate his voice…

“This isn’t theoretical, it is very very real,” she continued. “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 pursuit of performance.” 

The federal government has also been working to catch up to this emerging technology, with President Biden recently signing an executive order to better regulate AI technology. This order outlined federal protections and regulations for the use of a person’s likeness without their consent.

Movieguide® previously reported:

President Joe Biden issued a landmark executive order aimed at AI to help promote the safe development of the technology and keep the government informed on the risks it poses to the American people.

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed called the executive order the strongest action “any government in the world has ever taken on AI safety, security, and trust. It’s the next step in an aggressive strategy to do everything on all fronts to harness the benefits of AI and mitigate the risks.”

The executive order outlines safeguards to protect against widespread AI-generated deepfakes, monitor the technology’s ability to impact critical infrastructure, shield workers from job displacement and guide the sustainable development of the technology.

Among the government’s top concerns about the technology is the creation of widespread deepfakes to spread misinformation. To address this, the order directs the Department of Commerce to create standards for authenticating and distributing government statements.

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