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Scarlett Johansson OpenAI Lobby Urges To Outlaw Deepfakes

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Key Takeaways

Scarlett Johansson OpenAI call for legislation against AI deepfakes has gained significant support from the BSA Software Alliance and major tech companies like Microsoft.
The proposed No Fakes Act aims to protect artists’ likenesses from unauthorized digital replication, with Congress considering various AI regulations.
Industry leaders emphasize the importance of harmonized legal measures to prevent misuse of AI while ensuring the safety and integrity of the online world.
Scarlett Johansson OpenAI Lobby Urges To Outlaw Deepfakes 1

Hollywood’s reigning queen of action, Scarlett Johansson, made headlines last month when she vocally demanded legislation to ban AI deepfakes after OpenAI released a voice chat demo that was hauntingly similar to her own.

Following Johansson’s impassioned plea, one of the AI industry’s most influential trade groups, the BSA Software Alliance, has thrown its considerable weight behind the call for Congress to step in and legislate against the unauthorized use of digital replicas of artists.

Scarlett Johansson called for legislation last month to outlaw AI deepfakes

Scarlett Johansson OpenAI in 'Fly Me To The Moon'
AppleTV+

Microsoft, a key member of the BSA Software Alliance and a major investor in OpenAI to the tune of $13 billion, is standing firm on this issue. In a policy statement issued Monday, the group urged lawmakers to establish a new federal right aimed at curbing the misuse of digital replicas.

“Artists should have the right to prevent the unauthorized commercial dissemination of any digital replica that is so realistic that a reasonable observer would believe it is the actual artist’s name, image, likeness, or voice,” the group declared in their statement.

While Congress is already mulling over various AI regulations, skepticism looms large regarding the likelihood of any swift legislative action. However, the push from heavyweights in the tech and entertainment industries might just tilt the scales.

The actors’ union, SAG-AFTRA, has been vigorously championing the No Fakes Act, which aims to outlaw the production or distribution of unauthorized digital replicas. This legislative proposal, co-authored by Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), is anticipated to see an updated version released shortly.

The BSA Software Alliance, which also counts Adobe and Oracle among its members, advocates for a more focused approach. Their proposal emphasizes encouraging the takedown of digital replicas while shielding platforms from legal repercussions related to user conduct.

Moreover, the trade group seeks to criminalize software tools designed primarily to create unauthorized fakes, ensuring that AI technologies with legitimate, beneficial uses are not hindered.

“It’s just better and more efficient across the board, whether you’re an artist or someone who’s looking to create things, to have one harmonized system,” said BSA President and CEO Victoria Espinel.

Congress is also weighing narrower legislative measures, including bills targeting pornographic deepfakes and the use of AI deepfakes in electoral interference. The urgency of the matter was underscored earlier this year when explicit fakes of Taylor Swift surfaced online, prompting calls for immediate action from various industry leaders.

“We have to act,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella emphasized at the time. “I think we all benefit when the online world is a safe world.”

As the debate rages on, one thing is clear: the battle against deepfakes is just beginning, and the stakes are incredibly high for artists and the integrity of digital content alike.

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