No, Bruce Willis did not sell his “Digital Likeness Rights” to a deepfake company

Bruce Willis (really)

Bruce Willis (really)
photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images (Getty Images)

A representative for actor Bruce Willis issued a statement today denying recent reports that he has sold his “digital likeness rights” to a company that makes AI-assisted deepfakes. Per THRthe announcer said that Willis “has no partnership or agreement with this deepcake company”, Reference to a deepfake company who had previously received permission Willis’ estate to maka “digital twin” of the actor, the appeared in a commercial for a Russian telecommunications company last year.

This story got solid distorted in the last few days— Create many from headlines announces the idea that an AI clone based on 40-year-old Willis will start appearing in movies constantly, picking his way through action scenes and jokes. So It is worth following the path of online play Phone that brought us here: As far as we can tell, everything started with an article from The Telegraph on Wednesday, which highlighted Deepcake’s work, which the company is announcing on its website. (Including an obvious one Quote from Willis, talks about “the accuracy of my character,” and said, “It’s a great opportunity for me to go back in time.”

But at it telegraph article highlights the probability that the deepfake Willis – what was Produced by imposing a facial reconstruction from around 34,000 images by Willis on the actor The face of Konstantin Solovyov– could be used for other projects, the whole “digital image rights forever” thing seems to have been an invention of another authortakes up this story.

For one thing, there’s the simple fact that you can’t actually do that with deepcake yourself Sell ​​your parallel rights at all; You can only license them individually. (In this case, Deepcake says it worked with Willis’ agents at CAA to set up the commercial deal and that any future deepfake projects would need approval from the Willis camp.) Also, we’re not AI imaging experts or sobut when you consider how much effort and source material it takes to make a brief appearance through these kinds of digital creations– depending on the vagaries of lighting, viewing angles, etc. – the idea that an “AI Bruce” is possible even for a longer project like a movie still obviously doesn’t feel feasible. It’s not like tHere is partially photorealistic virtual puppet just hanging around on a server somewhere, waiting to be inserted into films if his family gives the okay – which they should be extremely clearly they didn’t, nor have they given any indication that they would.

We believe the active imagination surrounding this story is due, at least in part, to the condition of Willis himself – whose family has revealed earlier this yearthat he is “retiring” from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia. (See also: Disney’s recent use of AI technology to recreate the voice of James Earl Jones – with his guidance and permission –for darts Vader’s appearance in Obi Wan Kenobi.) It all evoked a certain sense of protectiveness, especially since Willis has been starring in a slew of low-budget action films in recent years that he reportedly struggled to complete. There is a creepy idea embedded hereto be sure – just not what it appears to be anchored in current reality. No, Bruce Willis did not sell his “Digital Likeness Rights” to a deepfake company

Andrew Schnitker

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