Scarlett Johansson, the renowned Hollywood actress, has taken a strong stand against the unauthorized use of her image in an artificial intelligence (AI) advertisement, sparking a significant debate on digital privacy and AI ethics.
According to a report published today in Variety, in late October, a 22-second video surfaced on X/Twitter, promoting an AI application called Lisa AI: 90s Yearbook & Avatar. What made this ad controversial was its unapproved usage of Scarlett Johansson's likeness. The actress's representatives swiftly clarified that she has no association with or endorsement of the app, and her attorney, Kevin Yorn, took immediate legal action.
Yorn emphasized the seriousness of the matter, stating,
"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 ad opens with an older clip of Scarlett Johansson, taken from behind-the-scenes footage of her work on Marvel's "Black Widow." In the video, Johansson begins by saying, "What's up guys? It's Scarlett, and I want you to come with me…". However, the video takes an alarming turn as a graphic conceals her mouth, and the screen transitions into AI-generated images that resemble the actress. A synthetic voice, impersonating Johansson, proceeds to endorse the AI app, 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."
The fine print beneath the advertisement reads, "Images produced by Lisa AI. It has nothing to do with this person." While the disclaimer attempts to distance itself from the misuse of Johansson's image, it brings to the forefront pressing questions regarding accountability in the AI sector. Lisa AI is developed by Convert Software and is available on the App Store and Google Play.
This incident reflects the urgent need for comprehensive discussions and regulatory measures pertaining to AI usage, especially in cases involving the likeness or voices of individuals, and the infringement of privacy. Scarlett Johansson's proactive response to this misuse of her image underscores the necessity for more stringent guidelines and consequences within the rapidly evolving AI landscape.
These AI-related episodes serve as a reminder that the intersection of AI and personal privacy demands our immediate attention, fostering a vital dialogue on the ethical use of technology and the importance of protecting an individual's image and identity.