Brian Cox says the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to replicate an actor’s image and use it forever is “identity theft” and should be considered “a human rights issue”.
The Scottish star, who is best known for playing Succession patriarch Logan Roy, was speaking at the premiere of the James Bond inspired quiz show 007: Road To A Million.
He told Sky News: “It doesn’t keep me up at night, but I am concerned about it and I want it to be sorted.
“I think AI is a human rights issue. It’s not just a union issue. It’s actually an identity theft. And it’s very, very prevalent at the moment.”
Cox said he’s particularly concerned for young actors who he feels are more vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous producers.
He said: “The younger actors are put in a situation where they’re told they have to do this and they don’t, but they don’t know that at the time…”
Channelling his inner Logan Roy, he concluded: “It’s been pretty horrendous. And then the deal, you know, we give you $50 or £50 to have you in perpetuity well, basically, I’d have told them to f*** off.”
Actors in America have been on strike for over 100 days over pay and work conditions – including better safeguards against unauthorised use of their images through artificial intelligence.
Performers have found their jobs particularly vulnerable to new technology, with generative AI able to replicate facial expressions, body movement and voice with alarming accuracy.
On Thursday, Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson became the latest star to fall victim to a seemingly unauthorised deepfake advert.
She follows in the footsteps of Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves, other high-profile faces to have become the subject of widely viewed unauthorised deepfakes.
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While negotiations between the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are ongoing, AI has proved to be a sticking point between sides.
Meanwhile in the UK, a two-day AI summit at Bletchley Park, home of Britain’s Second World War codebreakers, has brought together politicians, tech bosses and academics to discuss the challenges and opportunities of artificial intelligence.
Speaking on Thursday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the event would “tip the balance in favour of humanity”.
The summit – whose delegates also included tech millionaire Elon Musk – has resulted in the Bletchley Declaration, in which 28 nations including the US and China have agreed to collaborate to research safety concerns around the world’s most capable AI models.