George Carlin

The creators of a much-derided A.I. George Carlin video have agreed to remove it from all platforms, never to be seen or heard again, to settle a lawsuit with the late comedian’s estate, who argued that the special was copyright infringement and violated Carlin’s right of publicity.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleged that Will Sasso and Chad Kultgen, hosts of the podcast Dudesy, trained an A.I. algorithm on decades of Carlin’s works to produce a Dudesy special called “George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead.” It was posted on YouTube, but has been removed in accordance with the settlement.

The lawsuit is believed to be the first involving the A.I. creation of a person without the person or their estate’s permission. Carlin died in 2008 at 71.

The also agreed not to again use Carlin’s image, voice or likeness on any platform without permission from his estate. Josh Schiller, an attorney for Carlin’s estate, declined to comment to the New York Times on whether any financial settlement was involved, citing confidentiality. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment from MovieMaker on Wednesday.

How A.I. Was the A.I. George Carlin?

Danielle Del, a spokeswoman for Sasso, told the New York Times that despite being promoted as an A.I. George Carlin special, the A.I. George Carlin video “was completely written by Chad Kultgen.” She did not comment on whether the voice, which sounded strikingly like Carlin’s, was generated by AI.

Kelly Carlin, George Carlin’s daughter, said in a statement that she was pleased that the suit had been resolved so quickly.

“While it is a shame that this happened at all, I hope this case serves as a warning about the dangers posed by A.I. technologies and the need for appropriate safeguards,” she said.

The now-banished “George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead” began with a voice stating, “Hello, my name is Dudesy, and I’m a comedy A.I. … 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.

The voice added: “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.

From there, the Carlin voice did a routine on topics including death, A.I., homelessness, and more.

It earned a swift backlash, including a Vice story headlined, The George Carlin A.I. Standup Is Worse Than You Can Imagine. And, full disclosure, your humble correspondent also dislikes the concept of A.I. comedy.