Actress Scarlett Johansson took legal action against the developer of an artificial intelligence app for using her likeness in advertising without permission, Variety reported. The 22-second ad promoted an artificial intelligence image editor called Lisa AI: 90s Yearbook & Avatar and reportedly used Johansson’s AI-generated voice and likeness.
The ad shows a real-life behind-the-scenes clip of Black Widow, in which Johansson says, “How’s it going, guys? This is Scarlett and I want you to come with me…”. After that the clip transitions to AI-generated photos and an artificially created version of her voice, which promotes the Lisa AI app. Underneath the ad it says in small print: “Images created by Lisa AI.” According to Variety magazine, the Lisa AI app remains in the App Store and Google Play, but the ad no longer appears on the X.
Johansson is “dealing with the situation legally,” her lawyer Kevin Yorn said. “We don’t take these things lightly,” he added. Johansson has one of the most famous voices in Hollywood and is the face of luxury brands such as Dolce & Gabbana or Louis Vuitton.
Although this is still a gray area from a legal point of view, some states apply privacy laws in similar situations. For example California allows civil lawsuits for unauthorized use of someone’s “name, voice, signature, photograph or likeness” in advertising or promotion.