April 19, 2024

Amazon Faces Lawsuit for Using AI Voice in the New Road House Remake

A lawsuit has been filed against Amazon MGM Studios, formerly known as Amazon Studios, accusing the production giant of employing artificial intelligence (AI) to replicate actors’ voices during the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strike that took place between July 14 and November 9, 2023. The legal action comes from R. Lance Hill, an original scriptwriter of the 1989 American action film “Road House.”

Hill alleges that Amazon Studios engaged in the unauthorized production of the “Road House” remake without proper licensing and before the expiration of copyright. The lawsuit further claims that Amazon resorted to AI-generated voices when actors were unavailable due to the strike, aiming to meet the November 10, 2023, deadline for the film.

Amazon MGM Studios responded to the allegations, stating, “The lawsuit filed by R. Lance Hill regarding Road House today is completely without merit and numerous allegations are categorically false. The film does not use any AI in place of the actors’ voices. We look forward to defending ourselves against these claims.”

An undisclosed source from Entertainment Weekly (EW) mentioned that AI was not utilized to recreate the actors’ voices. While acknowledging the potential use of AI during early production cuts, the source asserted that Amazon had instructed filmmakers to exclude all AI elements from the final version of the movie.

The upcoming “Road House” remake boasts a star-studded cast, featuring A-list celebrities such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Conor McGregor, Post Malone, Daniela Melchior, and Jessica Williams. The film is scheduled to premiere on Amazon Prime Video on March 21.

The legal dispute occurs against the backdrop of a rapidly growing generative AI market. Major technology corporations, including Google, Amazon, and IBM, have been proactively investing in this emerging sector. As of 2023, the global generative AI market was valued at $12.1 billion, with projections suggesting a potential surge to $119.7 billion by 2032, as reported by Cointelegraph. The lawsuit raises questions about the ethical use of AI in the entertainment industry and its potential implications for copyright and creative rights.

Image by Vilius Kukanauskas from Pixabay

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