Morgan Freeman calls out TikTok video that used AI replication of his voice – NBC News

Deepfake Voices: An Emerging Technology Controversy

What happens when an individual’s unique voice becomes a digital possession, manipulated and fabricated, all at the click of a button? Even if it’s done innocently for a laugh, does this cross a line? This hot topic comes into focus as Oscar winner Morgan Freeman has recently taken issue with a TikTok creator who made a video using an Artificial Intelligence (AI) replication of his distinctive voice.

Morgan Freeman vs. Deepfake Technology

Fans worldwide know Freeman’s voice as one of the most distinctive and recognizable in Hollywood. However, the actor raised eyebrows when he spoke out against a TikTok user who pretended to be his “nepo niece,”— a fictional character voiced entirely with an AI version of Freeman’s voice. The technology behind this bid is known as Deepfake technology.

What is Deepfake Technology?

Deepfake technology utilizes sophisticated AI algorithms to combine and superimpose existing images and videos onto source images or videos, making it possible to create realistic video content of people saying or doing things they never did. This includes mimicking voices with shocking accuracy, as the Freeman-related TikTok video has shown.

While this technology has been primarily used for harmless amusement, many warn about its potential for misuse. Identity deception, virtual fraud, fake news, and more, all sit ominously on this possibility’s horizon.

Freeman’s Stand Against Deepfake

Freeman expressed his disapproval concerning the impersonation, which he felt crossed personal boundaries. While the Academy Award-winning actor appreciated fans’ fondness of his voice, he expressed reservations over its misuse. His criticism speaks volumes about the need for ethical guidelines regarding the utilisation of deepfake technology.

This isn’t Freeman’s lone instance facing imitation. He has encountered numerous impersonations on various internet platforms over the years. However, the use of AI to mimic his voice now escalates the issue, as deepfake technology sophistication continues to increase.

The Future of Deepfake Regulation

Freeman’s reaction to the TikTok video raises significant questions about the use and regulation of deepfake technology. Who owns the rights to someone’s voice? How can misuse be effectively regulated in an ever-growing digital world? While there aren’t clear answers yet, these questions are rapidly gaining importance and posing challenges to legal, artistic and ethical forums worldwide.

In conclusion, Freeman’s encounter with deepfake technology highlights the complex interaction between rising technology and personal boundaries. His stand against the misuse of his voice brings to light the urgent need for more comprehensive and robust policy regulations in the field of AI and Deepfake technology. While deepfakes can provide harmless laughter and entertainment, they also have the potential to exploit and manipulate individual identities, to a degree that is frankly alarming. This tension begs the question: How can we balance the incredible possibilities of these technologies without infringing on personal rights and dignity? Perhaps the answer lies in creating a robust regulatory framework that respects individuals’ boundaries while not hampering technological advancements.