George Carlin’s Estate Settles Lawsuit Over AI Comedy Special

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George Carlin’s estate reached a settlement this week with the creators of a comedy special that claimed to use artificial intelligence to impersonate the late comedian.

In a proposal awaiting approval by a judge in the Central District of California, the team that created, uploaded and promoted “George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead” agreed to be permanently banned from sharing the YouTube video of a hour long on any of its platforms, and never again use Carlin’s image, voice or likeness unless approved by the comedian’s estate.

“Our goal was to resolve this case quickly and remove the offending videos from the Internet in order to preserve Mr. Carlin’s legacy and shed light on the threat to reputation and intellectual property caused by this emerging technology,” said Joshua Schiller, attorney. for the plaintiffs, he said in a statement. “This settlement is a great result for our clients and will serve as a model for resolving similar disputes in the future where artificial intelligence technology infringes the rights of an artist or public figure.”

Carlin’s fake comedy special appeared on YouTube in January drawing anger from Carlin fans. A supposed AI engine called “Dudesy” said that he “listened to all of George Carlin’s material and did his best to imitate his voice, cadence, and attitude, as well as the topic I think he would have been interested in today.”

Many viewers were skeptical that the special was entirely AI-generated, as its creators claimed. The comedian’s estate filed a lawsuit on Jan. 25, alleging that the podcast’s hosts, Will Sasso and Chad Kultgen, as well as Dudesy LLC and 20 unnamed people involved in the special, engaged in “an unlawful appropriation of Carlin’s identity.” ” when using the comedian’s catalog. of work to apparently train AI. Sasso and Kultgen did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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The late comedian’s daughter, Kelly Carlin, said in a statement that she was pleased with the quick settlement and removal of the video.

“While it is a shame that this happened, I hope that this case serves as a warning about the dangers posed by artificial intelligence technologies and the need for adequate safeguards not only for artists and creatives, but for all human beings of the land,” he said.

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