British actress Keira Knightley said she intends to copyright her face unless governments adopt strict rules to protect actors from artificial intelligence. In Hollywood, film workers have been on strike for 137 days for the same reasons: new accessible technologies make it possible to write texts and scripts, replace the faces of ordinary extras with the faces of famous actors, make Indiana Jones look younger, and even force a translator to continue working. the actor died during filming of the film.
Knightley made a short statement to The Telegraph in London that immediately reverberated throughout the film world, reigniting disputes between studios (backed by Netflix, Amazon and Apple) and writers and actors fearful of losing their jobs. But that’s not all: “At the moment, actresses are worried about their own voice and are trying to protect the dubbing industry,” he said. I hope governments will address and regulate this problem, if not then I think my next step will be to protect my face.” Technologies are becoming more accessible to the general public, and videos of the famous head on someone else’s body are going crazy on social networks in combinations that are used for advertising, music tracks, and porn sites.
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The most cited example to clarify what may have happened is that of Bruce Willis, an actor suffering from dementia and no longer able to act, who also appeared in an advertisement in which a bomb was strapped to his body and shouted from the stern of the yacht Mississippi “with a Russian accent.
The problem, as many American newspapers have written in recent weeks, is huge and affects us all. French director Jean-Luc Godard once said that cinema will die with him. He died a year ago, and cinema has survived him, but now artificial intelligence poses a similar dilemma: humans may become obsolete before they can express themselves in the arts. GPT chat will write scripts and novels, electronic machines will make digital actors move, many forms of art will outlive their creators.
Tony Vinciquerra, CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, will be part of a delegation that resumes negotiations next week in Hollywood and is trying to find an agreement: “The screenwriters,” he said, “are very afraid that we will drive them all out of the market. But artificial intelligence is an incredible tool for them. Every writer we talk to says they’ve used it to speed up the process and make it better.” As for the actors, “you can’t take someone’s image without their permission. And everyone in the manufacturing sector is fully aware of this and will join in this commitment.”
Keira Knightley doesn’t trust it, and her idea could work, but it goes against current copyright laws, which only allow the protection of creations of the human mind, not the creations of nature. Infringement of copyright on human facial features is impossible to avoid today: theoretically, anyone who takes a photo of a passerby on their smartphone could be sued. Rules on this vary from country to country, but nowhere do celebrities have copyrights over their faces. However, if an image is used for commercial purposes without permission, legal action may be taken and damages sought. In London, the lesson was the case of a photographer who sold a photo of Rihanna to which he had the rights to a clothing company, which used it for an advertisement that he was then forced to withdraw. In the United States, the First Amendment cannot prevent the spread of false information, but it can punish those who do so by defaming others. Nowhere on Earth is it allowed to copyright things created by Nature, such as flowers, DNA, bacteria or human faces. Copyright is granted only to works created by people with deliberate effort and a minimum of decision-making and creativity. So we will need to invent new laws and act quickly: technology is advancing at a speed far exceeding our ability to react, and it may soon do without us, and not just in Hollywood.
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on Il Mattino