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Morgan Freeman Slams AI Voice Imitations, Thanks Fans for Call Outs

Morgan Freeman shared a note giving thanks to his fans Friday morning, expressing gratitude for users’ efforts calling out unauthorized AI imitations of the actor’s recognizable voice.

The celebrated 87-year-old actor has become legend for his narration in films such as “March of the Penguins,” “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Million Dollar Baby.” The sterling reputation of Freeman’s voice has made him a particularly popular target of AI-generated voice imitations, including in a recent viral series of TikToks created by a woman posing as the actor’s “nepo niece.” Freeman is not a fan of the practice.

“Thank you to my incredible fans for your vigilance and support in calling out the unauthorized use of an A.I. voice imitating me,” the actor wrote. “Your dedication helps authenticity and integrity remain paramount. Grateful. #AI #scam #imitation #IdentityProtection”

Freeman’s representation had no further comment.

The actor’s comments come at a time where AI imitations have faced scrutiny in the entertainment industry. Scarlett Johansson’s legal team recently called for OpenAI to disclose how it created its AI personal voice assistant, Sky, and to pull the chatbot down for sounding extremely similar to her own voice. Johansson said she was approached by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman last September with a request to use her voice for a conversational form of ChatGPT, but she declined for “personal reasons.” The actor said last month that she was “shocked, angered and in disbelief” that the AI company went ahead and used a voice extremely similar to hers after she refused to work with them.

Altman also allegedly contacted her agent two days before the voice assistant demo was released asking her to reconsider. The company paused the use of the voice assistant, but stated that the voice was not an imitation of Johansson.

In April, Drake also came under fire from Tupac Shakur’s estate for using an AI imitation of the West Coast rapper on his song “Taylor Made Freestyle” dissing Kendrick Lamar. Howard King, who reps Shakur’s estate, sent a cease-and-desist to Drake, stating that the song was a “blatant abuse of the legacy of one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time.”

The song also used an AI-generated verse from Snoop Dogg, who took to Instagram April 20 in a video vaguely addressing the situation, stating “They did what? When? How? Are you sure? Y’all have a good night.” Drake took the record down April 26, a week after posting it.

Hollywood has started to urge Congress to take action on AI, but it is unclear what, if any, laws will be passed to control the technology.

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