Amid Lawsuit, Creators of AI-Powered “George Carlin Comedy Special” Agree to Delete It

Delete This

The podcast dudes that used AI to make a fake George Carlin special have deleted the hour-long video months after being sued by the late comedian's estate.

In January, the comedy duo known as "Dudesy," which features former "MadTV" star Will Sasso and his podcaster-in-arms Chad Kultgen, uploaded a video to YouTube titled "George Carlin: I'm Glad I'm Dead." The unfunny special was made, according to Carlin's daughter Kelly, without permission from his estate, and the pair was slapped with a lawsuit because of it.

"I am pleased that this matter was resolved quickly and amicably," Carlin's progeny said in a new statement to Deadline, "and I am grateful that the defendants acted responsibly by swiftly removing the video they made."

"Quickly," in this case, is in the eye of the beholder — the video was first published back in January — but as the late legend's daughter and her attorneys have maintained from the start, this debacle was always about much more than Carlin's body of work.

"Our goal was to resolve this case expeditiously and have the offending videos removed from the internet so that we could preserve Mr. Carlin’s legacy and shine a light on the reputational and intellectual property threat caused by this emerging technology," lawyer Joshua Schiller, who represents the Carlin estate, said in the statement to Deadline. "The world has begun to appreciate the power and potential dangers inherent in AI tools, which can mimic voices, generate fake photographs, and alter video."

Bigger Fish

Citing other recent AI fiascos, including the New Hampshire voter suppression robocall spoofing President Joe Biden's voice and instances of deepfaked nude photos of celebrities, Schiller rightfully pointed out that this sort of misuse of the burgeoning technology "is not a problem that will go away by itself."

"It must be confronted with swift, forceful action in the courts," the attorney continued, "and the AI software companies whose technology is being weaponized must also bear some measure of accountability."

Although the Carlin estate lawsuit didn't cite whichever technology Dudesy used to create the special, other AI suits have — including, most notably, the New York Times' against OpenAI for alleged copyright infringement over the company using the newspaper's articles as training data.

Meanwhile, the late comic's daughter is calling the case of "I'm Glad I'm Not Dead" a cautionary tale.

"While it is a shame that this happened at all," she wrote in the press statement, "I hope this case serves as a warning about the dangers posed by AI technologies and the need for appropriate safeguards not just for artists and creatives, but every human on earth."

More on lawsuits: Good News, Sickos! Google Says It's Deleting Records of Your Incognito Searches