Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Creators of the AI-generated George Carlin special are being sued

Published Jan 26th, 2024 3:51PM EST
George Carlin HBO special
Image: HBO

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Remember that AI-generated George Carlin special? If not, here’s a quick run-through. Earlier this month, we covered the Dudesy podcast using artificial intelligence to create a new George Carlin comedy special. The special is called “George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead,” and, as of the writing of this article, the video has been viewed over half a million times.

At the start of the video, the AI says that it was able to create the special by listening to all of George Carlin’s material and using it to not only imitate his voice but also to decide the subjects and jokes they thought he may write and perform today.

“I just want to let you know very clearly that what you’re about to hear is not George Carlin. It’s my impersonation of George Carlin that I developed in the exact same way a human impressionist would. I listened to all of George Carlin’s material and did my best to imitate his voice, cadence and attitude as well as the subject matter I think would have interested him today. So think of it like Andy Kaufman impersonating Elvis or like Will Ferrell impersonating George W. Bush.”

Soon after the video went viral, Kelly Carlin, the late comedian’s daughter, posted a statement on X/Twitter, saying that “no machine will ever replace his genius” and that those who are interested in his work should instead rewatch the 14 specials he created.

“My dad spent a lifetime perfecting his craft from his very human life, brain and imagination. No machine will ever replace his genius. These AI generated products are clever attempts at trying to recreate a mind that will never exist again. Let’s let the artist’s work speak for itself. Humans are so afraid of the void that we can’t let what has fallen into it stay there…Here’s an idea, how about we give some actual living human comedians a listen to? But if you want to listen to the genuine George Carlin, he has 14 specials that you can find anywhere.”

I argued in our earlier coverage that no one should be brought back from the dead for a number of reasons, but George Carlin’s estate is taking it to another level — they are suing the creators of the video. As reported by The Verge, the lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles federal court this week, claiming that the video was created without permission to use Carlin’s material or likeness.

The complaint calls the AI-generated video “a piece of computer-generated click-bait which detracts from the value of Carlin’s comedic works” and “a casual theft of a great American artist’s work.” The lawsuit is seeking the immediate removal and destruction of all materials related to the AI-generated special as well as an undisclosed amount in damages.

This will be another interesting case in the age of AI-generated content, especially if it actually makes it to court. As the outlet notes, Dudesy has already taken another AI-generated video in the past after being threatened by a lawsuit from Tom Brady. Regardless, people are making a lot of AI-generated content impersonating other people — like that new single from Drake that turned out to be AI.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.

More Tech