In a recent development, Scarlett Johansson's legal team has announced their intention to take legal action against an artificial intelligence (AI) app that used her likeness without permission. The ad in question, which was featured on the AI image-generating app Lisa AI: 90s Yearbook & Avatar, depicted Johansson in a 22-second clip from Marvel's "Black Widow." The ad showed an old behind-the-scenes clip of the actress, with a graphic covering her mouth while AI-generated photos meant to resemble her were displayed on the screen. Additionally, an AI version of Johansson's voice was used in the ad to promote the app's capabilities.
Variety reported that the ad is no longer being promoted, and it included fine print stating that the images were produced by Lisa AI and had nothing to do with Johansson. However, representatives for the actress confirmed that she did not give permission for her likeness to be used in the ad. Johansson's attorney, Kevin Yorn, stated that they are pursuing legal action and will approach the matter seriously.
The unauthorized use of celebrities' images by AI has become a significant concern in the entertainment industry. This issue was even a focal point during recent strikes by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the ongoing strike by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). Celebrities, including Tom Hanks, have previously warned their fans about the unauthorized use of their likenesses for promotional purposes.
As the use of AI continues to evolve and expand, it is crucial for legal protections to be in place to safeguard the rights of individuals, including celebrities, whose images are being used without consent. This case involving Scarlett Johansson serves as a reminder of the importance of obtaining proper authorization for the use of someone's likeness. The outcome of this legal action could set a precedent for future cases involving the unauthorized use of celebrity images by AI technology.
It remains to be seen how this legal battle will unfold, but it underscores the need for clear guidelines and regulations regarding the use of AI in the entertainment industry. As technology continues to advance, it is essential to strike a balance between the potential benefits of AI and the protection of individuals' rights and privacy.