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George Carlin estate settled with podcasters over fake comedy special purportedly generated by AI


The estate of George Carlin has agreed to a settlement with the media company it sued over a fake hour-long comedy special that purportedly used artificial intelligence (AI) to recreate the late stand-up comic's style and material.

In the settlement agreement filed with a federal court Monday, and a proposed order from both sides that awaits approval from a judge, the podcast outlet Dudesy agreed to permanently take down the special and to refrain from using Carlin's image voice or likeness in the future without the express written approval of the estate.

The settlement meets the central demands laid out by the Carlin estate in the lawsuit filed on January 25.

"I am grateful that the defendants acted responsibly by swiftly removing the video they made," Carlin's daughter Kelly Carlin said in a statement. "While it is a shame that this happened at all, I hope this case serves as a warning about the dangers posed by AI technologies and the need for appropriate safeguards not just for artists and creatives, but every human on Earth."

George Carlin, among the most influential stand-up comedians of the 20th century, died in 2008.

At the beginning of the audio special posted on YouTube on January 9, a voice-over identifying itself as the AI engine used by Dudesy says it listened to the comic's 50 years of material and "did my best to imitate his voice, cadence and attitude as well as the subject matter I think would have interested him today."

The plaintiffs said if that was in fact how it was created – and some listeners have doubted its stated origins – it meant Carlin's copyright was violated.

The lawsuit was among the first in what is likely to be an increasing number of major legal moves made to fight the regenerated use of celebrity images and likenesses.

(Cover via CFP.)

Source(s): AP
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