Robin Williams’ daughter has described the use of AI to recreate her late father’s voice as “personally disturbing” and has called for stricter controls on its use.
Zelda Williams weighed in on the ongoing dispute between the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), with artificial intelligence being one of the main points of discussion.
The 34-year-old said that her father was at the celebration of this year’s birthday of “Mrs. Doubtfire” stars would have “fought the good fight” with the actors’ union.
Zelda wrote in an Instagram story: “For YEARS I’ve been watching how many people want to train these.” [AI] Models to create/recreate actors who cannot consent, like Dad.
“I’ve already heard about AI making its ‘voice’ say what people want, and while I personally find it disturbing, the implications go far beyond my own feelings.”
Speaking out: Zara Williams (pictured with her late father Robin in 2009) has spoken out about her discomfort with artificial intelligence recreating her father’s voice since his death. In the blood: Zelda followed her father into show business as an actress, author and producer. (Pictured back in June) “Troubling”: Zelda took to Instagram to express her concerns, not only about her personal feelings, but also about the threat AI poses to the entertainment industry
One of the main reasons for the SAG and Writers Guild of America (WGA) industrial action strike in May was that workers sought protection from AI – the use of which is currently unrestricted.
Zelda added: “It’s not theoretical, it’s very, very real.”
“Living actors deserve the chance to create characters with their choices, score cartoons, and put their HUMAN effort and time into the pursuit of performance.”
“These replicas are, at best, a poor reflection of larger people, and at worst, a horrific Frankenstein’s monster, cobbled together from the worst parts of everything this industry is, rather than what it should stand for.”
The post followed Zelda – an actress, writer and producer – sharing a post on X by Justine Bateman, the AI advisor to the SAG talks.
She warned: “There are currently no entertainment union restrictions on generative AI models that take 100 years of movies/series, slice and dice them, and then patchwork spoons out of all that work.”
The union’s president, Fran Drescher, also warned that actors would be “replaced by robots” when she announced the SAG strike in July.
Since then, combined with the writers’ strike that began two months earlier, Hollywood has been plunged into chaos and countless productions have been canceled.
It has been nine years since beloved comedian and Oscar-winning actor Robin died by suicide at his San Francisco Bay home at the age of 63.
He suffered from the neurodegenerative disease Lewy body dementia.
The Hollywood star was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which he had kept secret, but an autopsy carried out after his death on August 11, 2014 revealed that he had been misdiagnosed and instead suffered from Lewy body dementia.
The official cause of death was “asphyxia by hanging.”
Toxicology reports revealed that Williams had antidepressants, caffeine and levodopa, a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease, in his system.
WHAT IS LEWY BODY DEMENTIA?
Lewy body dementia (LBD) is the second most common form of degenerative dementia after Alzheimer’s.
It is the form that Robin Williams was diagnosed with before he took his own life in 2014.
Unlike Alzheimer’s disease, LBD affects the brain regions responsible for vision – rather than memory.
This means that sufferers may start with memory loss, but over time the debilitating symptoms progress to severe hallucinations, nightmares and problems with spatial perception.
LBD is closely linked to Parkinson’s disease, meaning that many sufferers also develop Parkinson’s disease – as was the case with Robin Williams.
The most common symptoms include:
- Impaired thinking, such as B. Loss of executive function (planning, processing information), memory, or the ability to understand visual information.
- fluctuations in perception, attention or alertness;
- Movement problems such as tremors, stiffness, slowness and difficulty walking
- Visual hallucinations (seeing things that aren’t there)
- Sleep disorders, such as B. living out dreams while sleeping
- Behavioral and mood symptoms, including depression, apathy, anxiety, agitation, delusions or paranoia
- Changes in autonomic body functions such as blood pressure control, temperature regulation, and bladder and bowel function.
HOW IT BEGINS:
Many sufferers initially develop Parkinson’s disease and suffer from physical disabilities before doctors diagnose their dementia. This is what happened to the late, revered actor Robin Williams.
Some begin with memory loss, which could be confused with the more common Alzheimer’s disease. Over time, they develop symptoms that are clearly related to LBD.
WHAT CAUSES IT:
No cause is known. What we do know is that the risk increases with age.
At the cellular level, LBD is characterized by tiny clumps of abnormal proteins produced by the brain when its cells are not functioning properly.
They cause memory problems, although not as severe as Alzheimer’s – which is linked to a buildup of the protein beta-amyloid.
Another key difference is that Lewy body dementia affects regions of the brain responsible for vision, causing severe hallucinations, nightmares, and problems with spatial perception.