Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson is taking legal action against an AI app that used her name and image in an online ad without her permission. The ad, posted on Twitter by an AI app called “Lisa AI: 90’s Yearbook & Avatar,” featured a deepfake video of Johansson.
Johansson’s lawyer, Kevin Yorn, confirmed that she isn’t connected to the app and is pursuing legal proceedings. The ad, which was discovered on October 28, seems to have been removed from the internet since.
According to Variety, the unauthorized advertisement starts with a clip from behind the scenes of Marvel’s “Black Widow,” in which Scarlett Johansson appears. She begins, “What’s up guys? It’s Scarlett, and I want you to come with me…,” but the video takes an unexpected turn as a graphic obscures her mouth, and the screen transitions to AI-generated images resembling the actress.
A fabricated voice, imitating Scarlett Johansson, continues to speak, promoting the AI app. “It’s not limited to avatars only. You can also create images with texts and even your AI videos. I think you shouldn’t miss it,” the voice, closely resembling Johansson’s, claims.
Many states have laws against using someone’s likeness for ads without permission. This is a problem that affects not only celebrities like Johansson and Tom Hanks but ordinary people too.
Recently, schoolgirls in a village in Spain had AI-generated deepfake nudes made from their ordinary photos, sparking a police investigation and conversations regarding child safety and laws surrounding deepfakes and AI.
[Cover image: Paul Bird, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons]