Anthony Bourdain Roadrunner voice deepfake

Occurred: July 2021

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Roadrunner, a new documentary about the life and death of chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain, uses 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 describes 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.

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: Ethics; Privacy
Transparency: Governance; Privacy; Marketing

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Published: December 2021