Since his death in 2008, comedian George Carlin has not released a great deal. That was until Tuesday when a YouTuber made — without the permission of his family — an hour-long “special” featuring the revered comic.
George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead was posted by the Dudesy YouTube channel which also made an AI-generated comedy special of Tom Brady which the former NFL quarterback threatened to sue over.
However, it appears the people behind Dudesy have not learned their lesson because George Carlin’s daughter Kelly took to X (formerly Twitter) to make clear that Dudesy did not ask for permission and condemned the video.
“No machine will ever replace his genius. These AI-generated products are clever attempts at trying to recreate a mind that will never exist again,” Kelly Carlin writes.
“Let’s let the artist’s work speak for itself. Humans are so afraid of the void that we can’t let what has fallen into it stay there.”
My statement regarding the AI-generated George Carlin special: My dad spent a lifetime perfecting his craft from his very human life, brain and imagination. No machine will ever replace his genius. These AI-generated products are clever attempts at trying to recreate a mind…1/3
— Kelly Carlin (@kelly_carlin) January 11, 2024
At the onset of the video, Dudesy makes it clear that the video is AI and it is not really George Carlin performing. But, the narrator dubiously claims that it was developed “in the exact same way a human impressionist would”, i.e. listening to all of Carlin’s material and “did my best to imitate his voice, cadence, and attitude as well as the subject matter he would be interested in today.”
AI Carlin speaks about mass shootings in America, Trump, and artificial intelligence.
“There’s one line of work that is most threatened by AI,” the synthetic Carlin says. “One job that is most likely to be completely erased because of artificial intelligence: stand-up comedy.
“I know what all the stand-up comics across the globe are saying right now: ‘I’m an artist and my art form is too creative, too nuanced, too subtle to be replicated by a machine. No computer program can tell a fart joke as good as me.'”
The video has surpassed a quarter of a million views in just a few days, furthering fears that AI-generated material is flooding the internet and taking hold. As one commenter puts it, “This is gonna be a very interesting year.”