Sir David Attenborough, the 97-year-old documentary filmmaker, attended the premiere of his BBC documentary “Planet Earth III” in October. A video went viral on X showing an AI version of Attenborough narrating a programmer’s life. Attenborough himself found the video to be “personally distressing” and expressed his concerns that AI versions of him could be used to deceive others. These representations in his distinctive voice and style can be done autonomously and in real-time. Although the video was met with awe and amazement by some, Attenborough spoke out against using AI to create false versions of him.
Attenborough’s real concern is that AI could be used to deceive others into believing that he is saying things contrary to his beliefs or that misrepresent the wider concerns he has promoted over his lifetime. Despite his objections, the AI-Attenborough video has been watched over 3 million times and has sparked further interest in AI clones. Another programmer, Charlie Holtz, who shared the video and the code he used to create the AI-Attenborough, has not yet commented on the controversy. An AI-generated Steve Jobs critiquing designs was shared on X, showing how AI clones are being used to imitate well-known figures and personalities.