Anthony Bourdain Roadrunner voice deepfake results in backlash

Occurred: July 2021

The unauthorised use of AI to recreate the voice of Anthony Bourdain in a documentary resulted in a backlash by film critics and others.

Roadrunner, a documentary about the life and death of chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain, used deepfake technology to re-create Bourdain's voice without disclosure, and without the permission of Bourdain's widow Ottavia.

In an interview with the New Yorker, filmmaker Neville Morgan described how he had supplied an AI company with a dozen hours of Bourdain speaking in order to manufacture three quotes he had wanted the TV host to say. 

The interview led to a backlash by film critics, film makers and others, who accused Morgan of underhand, manipulative and unethical behaviour. 'We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later', Morgan quipped.

System 🤖

Documents 📃

Operator: Focus Features
Developer: Morgan Neville
Country: USA
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Entertain
Technology: Deepfake - audio; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning  
Issue: Cheating/plagiarism; Copyright; Ethics/values; Privacy
Transparency: Governance; Privacy; Marketing

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: December 2021