Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda slams AI recreations of late comedian, calls them ‘personally disturbing’

While there are many benefits of artificial intelligence, there’s one controversial use that has caused a lot of uproar — see the current actor’s strike.

Using AI to replicate a person’s likeness, especially without their consent, may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but it’s a modern day problem.

Zelda Williams recently spoke out about the issue on her Instagram stories using her late father, Robin Williams, as an example.

“I am not an impartial voice in SAG’s fight against AI,” the actress and director wrote via her Instagram Story, according to a screenshot obtained by EW. “I’ve witnessed for YEARS how many people want to train these models to create/recreate actors who cannot consent, like Dad. This isn’t theoretical, it is very very real.”

“I’ve already heard AI used to get his ‘voice’ to say whatever people want and while I find it personally disturbing, the ramifications go far beyond my own feelings,” she continued. “Living actors deserve a chance to create characters with their choices, to voice cartoons, to put their HUMAN effort and time into the pursuit of performance.”

Robin Williams at “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” at the NBC Studios in Burbank, Ca. Thursday, Sept. 12, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect.

This isn’t a new issue, as Robin famously feuded with Disney after the mega corporation used his voice to sell merchandise for the 1992 hit Aladdin.

Prior to signing on to the movie, Robin, who died by suicide in 2014, made it clear he didn’t want his voice involved in any merchandising. However, once the film became a hit Disney went behind the comedian’s back and used his voice to promote the film.

Robin refused to work for Disney until they apologized for their wrongdoing, which resulted in his absence from the film’s sequel. He returned two years later for the franchise’s third movie.

Robin Williams performs at the Universal Amphitheater on July 1, 1979. Photo: Tony Barnard / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images Scanned for obit 8/11/14. (Photo by Tony Barnard/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The 34-year-old’s comments come after it was revealed the Genie, voiced by Robin, would appear in the Disney short Once Upon a Studio. Genie is expected to appear alongside Olaf, voiced by Josh Gad.

Initially the news caused backlash, but Gad insisted Robin’s estate gave their blessing to use Robin’s previously unheard dialogue.

“Me getting to act alongside my idol posthumously, using previously unheard dialogue, would NEVER EVER happen without the consent of his estate,” the actor and comedian wrote on Instagram at the time.

LOS ANGELES – CIRCA 1999: Actor and comedian Robin Williams poses for a portrait circa 1999 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)

“These recreations are, at their very best, a poor facsimile of greater people, but at their worst, a horrendous Frankensteinian monster, cobbled together from the worst bits of everything this industry is, instead of what it should stand for.”

Will AI ever have a place in Hollywood?

It’s possible.

As part of the recent deal that ended the writers’ strike, AI can’t be used to write or rewrite any literary material; however, creators are able to choose whether they want to use AI for their own work.

As for the studios, they aren’t allowed to use a writer’s work to train AI without the creator’s knowledge.

So much good can come from artificial intelligence, but also so many bad things can happen when it’s used for the wrong things.

Do you see a future for AI in Hollywood? Let us know your thoughts!

If you enjoyed this story, you may like to read about how Robin Williams’ children paid tribute to him on his birthday.