Kelly Carlin, the daughter of comedian George Carlin, is slamming an AI-generated comedy special mimicking the voice of her late father.
On Tuesday, it appeared that the comedian, who died in 2008 at age 71 of congestive heart failure, was weighing in on contemporary hot-button issues, including former President Trump and mass shootings in America. In an hourlong comedy special, “George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead,” an artificial intelligence bot named Dudesy uses Carlin’s voice for what is described as an impersonation attempting to capture the comedian’s “iconic style” to tackle the topics it imagines Carlin would cover today.
“You know how much Americans love reality TV? We love it so much, we elected a reality TV show host as president,” Dudesy says in Carlin’s voice. “Well, not we, I was dead at the time. So you elected a reality TV show host as president. And let me tell you, I have never been more glad to be dead than the moment I heard that Donald Trump was the leader of the free world. But as unbelievable as that news was, it also made sense to me. America hasn’t taken a good s— since Nixon.”
The AI program Dudesy creates a podcast and YouTube show hosted by “Mad TV” alum Will Sasso and Chad Kultgen, who’s a producer, novelist and journalist.
Kelly Carlin is unimpressed. She took to social media to slam the re-creation of her father.
“My dad spent a lifetime perfecting his craft from his very human life, brain and imagination,” Kelly Carlin wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday. “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?” she continued. “But if you want to listen to the genuine George Carlin, he has 14 specials that you can find anywhere.”
She later thanked her followers for their support regarding the “AI bot (?) that has arrogantly stepped over a line in the world of comedy today that will surely affect dead artists and their estates now,” before calling out Zelda Williams, the daughter of Robin Williams; Melissa Rivers, the daughter of Joan Rivers, and the X account of Garry Shandling, which is run by his estate.
“We should talk,” she continued. “They’re coming for you next.”
Last May, Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks weighed in on the modern reality that artificial intelligence could have his likeness appearing in movies long after his death.
On an episode of “The Adam Buxton Podcast,” Hanks said it was a “bona fide possibility” that AI would take on roles for him after his death. “I can be hit by a bus tomorrow. And that’s it, but my performances can go on and on and on and on and on,” he said, “And outside of the understanding that has been done with AI or deepfake, there’ll be nothing to tell you that it’s not me and me alone. And it’s going to have some degree of life-like quality. And that is certainly an artistic challenge, but it’s also a legal one.”
Buxton agreed that the potential was real but argued that people would be able to differentiate between the living, breathing Hanks and the AI Hanks.
“Without a doubt, people will be able to tell,” Hanks agreed. “But the question is, will they care?”