Benign Uses for Deepfake Audio

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In summary, David Attenborough's voice is the perfect narrator for nature films. His deepfake recordings would be a success even if he retired or died, and his heirs would have a legal right to demand that his voice be used in such films. There are likely to be exceptions to this rule, however, and deepfake recordings of other celebrities would not be allowed.
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Last night we watched a nature film narrated by David Attenborough. (who else?)

It occurred to me that no nature film now or in the near future could be a success with any voice other than Mr. Attenborough's. It cries for deepfake Attenborough voices after his retirement or death.

Would his heirs have a legal cause of action? If yes, what is the underlying law?

We think of deepfakes as threats to civilization. Might there be more benign uses of deepfakes?
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anorlunda said:
We think of deepfakes as threats to civilization. Might there be more benign uses of deepfakes?
Well, technology is rarely bad in and of itself (it could be that the atomic bomb is arguably an exception, although it did lead to peaceful power generation) it's what you DO with it that can be bad, so I'd say yes.
  • #3
I agree! I watched Life on Netflix last week and it would not be the same without his voice.
  • #4
Google is your friend.

It probably comes under "personality rights", that is the right of a person to control the use of ones image or name or anything that might be associated with that person (voice?). Attenborough being a celebrity I would assume has this form of legal protection. The identifiers of a personality are considered property and this right can survive the death of the individual but this protection may vary according to jurisdiction.
  • #5
There are many jurisdictions. Only some of them include voice, and only some of them extend protection after death.

But there must also be exceptions. Otherwise the heirs to Mr. Rogers could sue over the movie, and Richard Jewel could sue over the soon to come movie. Not to mention Elvis impersonators. I think the laws must allow a lot of wiggle room.
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What about cases of non-human media entities, like Mickey Mouse?
Disney got that locked down I suppose.
  • #7
For people of my generation, the voice of Walter Cronkite would be a winner.
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Morgan Freeman is also an excellent narrator, but he is getting older too.
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possibly interesting,

Three videos with Roger Ebert from about 2011... a pre-cursor to the proposed audio deepfakes:

another video &t=6m10s
another video &t=5m16s

a project I stumbled on:
another &t=1m43s
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What is deepfake audio?

Deepfake audio is a type of synthetic media that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create or manipulate audio content to make it sound like a real person saying or doing something they did not actually say or do.

What are some potential benign uses for deepfake audio?

Some potential benign uses for deepfake audio include creating voiceovers for movies or TV shows, creating audiobooks with different voices, and enhancing voice recognition technology.

Can deepfake audio be used for good?

Yes, deepfake audio has the potential to be used for good. For example, it can be used in the entertainment industry to create more realistic and diverse characters, and it can also be used in language learning applications to generate audio in different languages.

Are there any ethical concerns surrounding the use of deepfake audio?

Yes, there are ethical concerns surrounding the use of deepfake audio. It can be used to spread false information and manipulate public opinion, and it can also be used to impersonate individuals and commit fraud.

How can we address these ethical concerns?

To address these ethical concerns, it is important to have clear guidelines and regulations in place for the creation and use of deepfake audio. It is also important for individuals to be aware of the existence of deepfakes and to critically evaluate the information they consume.

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