Robin Williams and daughter Zelda

Zelda Williams Slams 'Disturbing' Use of AI to Create Content With Late Robin Williams

Home / Top Stories / Zelda Williams Slams 'Disturbing' Use of AI to Create Content With Late Robin Williams

By Favour Adegoke on October 2, 2023 at 3:30 PM EDT

In a heartfelt message, Zelda Williams, the daughter of the late comedy legend Robin Williams, took to social media to express her deep concern and disapproval regarding using artificial intelligence to recreate her father.

The issue arose after reports surfaced of an AI project attempting to replicate the iconic comedian's voice and likeness. On her Instagram story Sunday, Zelda candidly shared her thoughts on what she described as a "disturbing" use of technology.

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Zelda Williams Slams 'Disturbing' Use Of AI To Recreate Her Late Father

Robin Williams and daughter Zelda

Robin, known for his unparalleled wit and versatile performances, left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment performance when he died by suicide at age 62 on Aug. 11, 2014. He battled anxiety, depression, and Parkinson's disease before he was confirmed to have had Lewy Body Dementia.

His daughter, Zelda, recently took to her Instagram story to slam the attempt to use artificial intelligence to recreate her late dad.

"I am not an impartial voice in SAG's fight against AI," she told NYP. "I've witnessed for YEARS how many people want to train these models to create/recreate actors who cannot consent, like Dad."

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"This isn't theoretical; it is very, very real. I've already heard AI used to get his 'voice' to say whatever people want," she went on, adding that she finds it "disturbing" and that the "ramifications go far beyond my own feelings."

"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," she advocated in her message.

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The Controversial Adoption Of AI In Hollywood

Late Robin Williams

The debate surrounding the ethical implications of using AI to recreate deceased individuals is not new. Zelda's response highlights the emotional toll it can take on the families and loved ones of those being replicated.

While AI advancements offer incredible possibilities in various fields, the ethical boundaries of using the technology in Hollywood were a subject of contention during the SAG- AFTRA strike, prompting a new contract review.

"AI can't write or rewrite literary material," the contract reads.

Moreover, the WGA can classify the use of a writer's content for training AI models by a company as forbidden. It is also mandatory for companies to notify writers if AI generates the material, and employers are not authorized to compel writers to use it against their will.

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Zak Williams Pays Heartfelt Tribute To His Late Father 

Robin Williams

In a poignant and deeply personal tribute, Zak, the son of the late Robin, took to Instagram on the 9th anniversary of his father's passing to share his reflections and emotions.

"Dad, on the 9th anniversary of your passing, I'm remembering you for your most excellent fashion choices. These days are always hard, and I love remembering you for being so very, very YOU. Love you so much!" Zak wrote in a heartfelt Instagram post.

Accompanying his message was a cherished photograph capturing a special moment where the "Mrs. Doubtfire" actor dressed in a white graphic T-shirt and printed khaki cargo shorts. Robin can be seen waving to the crowd with a tennis racket in his hand while walking across a tennis court.

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Robin Williams' Wife Says Depression Didn't Kill Him

Robin Williams, wife Susan Schneider and daughter Zelda

For years, the public narrative surrounding Robin's death has primarily centered on his struggles with depression and the toll it took on his mental health. 

However, in a recent interview, Susan Schneider shed light on the comprehensive battle her late husband faced, noting that depression was one of many causes of his death.

"It was not depression that killed Robin," Schneider stated. "Depression was one of, let's call it, fifty symptoms, and it was a small one. After the autopsy, the doctors said, 'Are you surprised that your husband had Lewy bodies throughout his entire brain and brain stem?' I didn't even know what Lewy bodies were, but I said: 'No, I'm not surprised.'"

She continued, "The fact that something had infiltrated every part of my husband's brain? That made perfect sense. It was very out of character for Robin to be so paranoid. And that was the start of this 10-month drumbeat of increasing symptoms. And, the thing with LBD is the symptoms don't come all at once - they change. So they're incredibly confusing to the patient and caregiver."

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