Renowned actress Scarlett Johansson has recently taken legal measures against an AI app that utilized her name and image in an online advertisement without her consent. The ad, lasting 22 seconds, was showcased on X/Twitter by an artificial intelligence image-generating application known as Lisa AI: 90s Yearbook & Avatar.
A spokesperson for Johansson confirmed to Variety that the actress has no affiliation with the app and that her attorney, Kevin Yorn, is handling the matter legally. Although the advertisement emerged on October 28, it has seemingly disappeared from the digital sphere since then.
In response to the incident, Yorn stated to Variety, “We do not take these matters lightly. As is customary in such situations, we will pursue all available legal recourse.”
The ad, as reviewed by Variety, commences with an archival clip of Johansson from behind the scenes of Marvel’s “Black Widow.” Following this, the AI-generated images resembling the actress take over the screen, accompanied by a synthetic voice imitating Johansson’s voice, endorsing the AI app’s capabilities.
Notably, the fine print accompanying the advertisement clarifies that the images were produced by Lisa AI, emphasizing the detachment from the actual individual. Lisa AI, developed by Convert Software, has multiple applications available on the App Store and Google Play. However, the software developer remained unresponsive to Variety’s request for comment regarding the incident.
Numerous states have stringent regulations protecting the right to privacy, particularly in cases where an individual’s “name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness” is used without authorization for promotional or advertising purposes. While some public figures may pursue legal action to establish precedents, most cases of this nature are settled through cease and desist orders.
Johansson’s situation echoes the experiences of other celebrities who have encountered similar issues with their names and likenesses being exploited without consent. Notably, just last month, actor Tom Hanks utilized social media to caution his followers about a promotional video for a dental plan that featured an AI-generated version of himself. In a statement on his Instagram story, Hanks clarified, “Beware! … I have nothing to do with it.”
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