This Month in AI and NLP: Who Owns Bruce Willis? Deepfakes, Digital Rights, and AI

What happened in NLP and AI news in October? Read all about Bruce Willis deepfakes, digital right dilemmas, and more.
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Anna Redbond
October 28, 2022
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October 28, 2022
October 27, 2022
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Every month, we gather the news in the ever-evolving world of AI and NLP. This month saw some growing concerns around deepfakes, digital rights, and AI’s rapid developments. Let’s look at October’s highlights.

Who Owns Bruce Willis: Deepfakes, Digital Rights, and AI

In September, Bruce Willis “appeared” in an ad where he was tied to a bomb on the back of a yacht, saying "Mississippi" in a Russian accent. 

This was misreported as having been the result of the actor selling his performance rights. In reality, the company who made the ad had struck a deal that allowed them to to map a digital version of his appearance onto another actor in a commercial.

This is raising the question of “who owns Bruce Willis?" It’s also sparking a much wider debate around how AI, contracts, and rights are coming together. At the moment, people have the right to limit unauthorized appropriation of their identities, but the details are complex (and often misleading). For example, here are some nuances to consider:

  • In some circumstances, deepfake makers are protected by the First Amendment unless there is an additional issue, like defamation. 
  • There are clauses now that include ‘simulation rights’ to performers’ images, voices, and more, but they are often hidden deep in complex performance agreements. 
  • There are laws that allow postmortem rights to be transferred, since this can be an important source of revenue for family and loved ones. This raises questions about identity being perceived as a transferable property right with the progression of AI. 
  • Huge names like Bruce Willis have more bargaining power, while smaller names may end up signing contracts that open the door to them being deepfaked into content they find demeaning without legal recourse. 

People are also concerned that with AI advancing at the speed it is, soon it won’t even need Bruce Willis to emulate his likeness, mannerisms, and tone. This means that people will need to be able to protect their digital rights stringently so that they don’t end up placed in roles they did not expect. 

AI and the Market

Deloitte released their fifth State of AI in the Enterprise report. Some key findings include:

  • A survey of 2,620 executives in 13 countries found that 94% of respondents considered AI critical to success in the next five years.
  • 22% of companies said they made five or more full-scale deployments but saw relatively scant positive outcomes.
  • 46% of companies mentioned difficulties weaving AI into daily workflows.
  • Forrester projected that global spending on AI software will nearly double from $33 billion last year to $64 billion by 2025.

Datasaur’s two cents: 

There’s a lot of hype around AI right now. But it’s quickly becoming clear that AI’s impact on companies is here to stay. 

Before long, every company will leverage AI in some capacity. And the companies that are adopting it fast are rising to the top. Quality data is the key to unlocking AI’s full potential. So these AI developments coming alongside a movement towards automated data labeling—as well as being in the face of an undoubtedly harsh climate—could catalyze adoption of AI in a big way. 

AI Broke Math Records… Then Humans Beat the AI

AlphaTensor revealed on October 5th that its AI software, DeepMind, had beaten a record that had stood for more than 50 years for the matrix multiplication problem. This is a common calculation in software where grids of numbers are multiplied by each other. 

This has the potential for a far-reaching impact, too. Matrix calculation is a fundamental calculation used in everyday computer tasks ranging from generating images on your phone to running weather simulations. AlphaTensor claimed the algorithm had the potential to improve efficiency for the calculation by 10-20% across trillions of calculations per day.

Just a week after AlphaTensor beat the record, though, a pair of researchers found a more efficient way to multiply grids of numbers. 

Generative AI is (Still) Taking the World by Storm

Generative AI is making a huge impact the world over. Here are a couple of the bigger developments from October:

  • Generative AI gained significant ground (and funding) - Jasper AI, an AI content platform, has raised $125 million at a $1.5 billion valuation, coming hot on the heels of Stable Diffusion, an AI art generating tool, raising $101 million. Jasper’s CEO believes that generative AI is here to stay, and claims that soon it will “impact every tool out there.”

    Generative AI has huge potential for bolstering productivity and making people’s jobs easier and, as the CEO notes, those companies that stick their heads in the sand are going to miss out. 
  • Shutterstock is selling AI-generated stock imagery - Shutterstock announced that it will start selling AI-generated stock imagery using DALL-E 2. There has been a lot of debate around the impact that AI art generators are having on artists and content creators, and Shutterstock is “responding to the threat of disruption by joining it.”

    Shutterstock also claimed that it will reimburse artists and photographers whose images are used to train the model. Artists and photographers have complained for years about the meager fees they receive in royalties from digital photos, and this adds another layer of depth to those concerns. 

The Self-Driving Car Industry is Experiencing Losses

A Crunchbase examination of 14 autonomous tech companies that have gone public in the past couple of years found that their market valuations have plunged by 81% on average from the time they became publicly listed.

When this is taken with the many public cases of self-driving incidents and rollbacks, many are now saying that winter is coming for self-driving technology. The feeling, though, is that even if this is the case it will eventually thaw out and it’s a matter of keeping an eye on how that happens. 

The Big Picture 

AI news is moving fast and it’s fascinating (and important) to keep an eye on the way things are evolving. Conversations and debates around AI and ethics continue to develop, and we’re excited to keep the conversation going. 

Try a custom demo if you’d like to learn more about how AI could transform your business. 

What Happened Last Month? 

Read about AI Darth Vader, AI-generated art, and more here.

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