George Carlin’s Estate Reaches Settlement After A.I. Podcast

The estate of the comedian George Carlin reached a settlement on Monday with the makers of a podcast who had said they had used artificial intelligence to impersonate Mr. Carlin for a comedy special.

As part of the agreement, the two podcast creators, Will Sasso and Chad Kultgen, agreed to permanently remove the comedy special and to never repost it on any platform, according to Josh Schiller, a lawyer for Mr. Carlin’s estate. They also agreed not to use Mr. Carlin’s image, voice or likeness on any platform without approval from the estate, according to court records.

Mr. Schiller declined to elaborate on whether the settlement included monetary damages, saying that other parts of the settlement were confidential.

Mr. Carlin’s estate filed the suit in January, saying that Mr. Sasso and Mr. Kultgen, hosts of the podcast “Dudesy,” had infringed on the estate’s copyrights by training an A.I. algorithm on five decades of Mr. Carlin’s work for the special “George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead,” which was posted on YouTube. The lawsuit also said they had illegally used Mr. Carlin’s name and likeness.

“The world has begun to appreciate the power and potential dangers inherent in A.I. tools, which can mimic voices, generate fake photographs and alter video,” Mr. Schiller said in a statement on Tuesday.

He added: “This is not a problem that will go away by itself. It must be confronted with swift, forceful action in the courts, and the A.I. software companies whose technology is being weaponized must also bear some measure of accountability.”

A spokeswoman for Mr. Sasso declined to comment. A spokesman for Mr. Kultgen could not immediately be reached.

Kelly Carlin, George Carlin’s daughter, wrote 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,” Ms. Carlin said.

“George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead” began with a voice saying, “Hello, my name is Dudesy, and I’m a comedy A.I.” It went on to say: “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,” the voice continued, before a different voice that sounded like Carlin riffed on current events, including homelessness, the police, mass shootings and artificial intelligence.

Danielle Del, a spokeswoman for Mr. Sasso, said in January that the podcast character, Dudesy, was a fictional character created by the hosts, and not actually an A.I.

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