After his passing, Michael Douglas intends to sell his virtual likeness

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The entertainment industry has seen significant changes in recent years with the introduction of emerging technology that allows studios to use deepfake technology to generate performances from actors without them appearing on set. As this technology advances, it has led to numerous conversations about the legalities of these practices and the importance of giving performers the power to control their digital likeness. Hollywood actor Michael Douglas has recently revealed his plan to sell his digital likeness once he dies. In an interview with The Guardian, the veteran actor, who has been in the movie industry for more than five decades, pointed out that he has started “thinking [he’s] going to have to license my name and likeness” so that “the rights go to my family rather than to the metaverse.”

The advent of AI technology is developing at a rapid pace, leading to concerns among Hollywood celebrities like Keanu Reeves, who expressed concern about other companies having control over his likeness. The John Wick actor explained how being able to “give a performance in a film” and “participating in that” could be lost if deepfake technology is used. It means the performance will have none of his points of view. As such, he referred to the situation as “scary.” Douglas also recognizes the possibility of recreating any dead person at any age with the voice and the mannerisms through the use of AI technology. Thus, he wants to have some control of his voice, performance, and mannerisms even after his death.

As these developments continue to grow, industry bodies are now beginning to talk about protecting performers’ digital selves. SAG-AFTRA’s national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland highlighted the importance of actors taking control of their likenesses in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, stating that “Protection of a performer’s digital self is a critical issue for SAG-AFTRA and [its] members.” He also noted that these technologies offer exciting opportunities but can also pose potential threats to performers’ livelihoods.

The world is now teetering on the edge of an AI revolution, leading to the introduction of digital laws, rights, and regulations that are having to be thought of on the fly. This situation has led to actors such as Bruce Willis having conversations about selling their likeness for future performances long after they are gone. Some in Hollywood are embracing this technological advancement, while others are not. Michael Douglas looks to be taking a proactive approach, making sure his digital rights situation is in order so that his family has control and not some Hollywood studio or production company.

As this technology advances, Marvel Studios could eventually release another Ant-Man or Avengers film featuring Michael Douglas without needing the actor there if his family permitted it. If everyone is on board with this sort of situation, it could lead to further exciting opportunities in the entertainment industry. However, while these new technological advancements are exciting, industry professionals need to ensure that actors’ digital selves are protected and that any use is only with fully informed consent, and actors are fairly compensated for such use. It is vital to make sure that the data is protected from unauthorized access and use, and reproductions of any performer are not used without the union’s consent.

In conclusion, the increasing technological developments in AI and deepfake technology are having a significant impact on the entertainment industry. As actors become more aware of the potential for their likeness to be exploited, they are taking proactive steps to ensure they retain control over their digital selves, even after death. While it is clear that these advancements offer many exciting opportunities for the entertainment industry, it is crucial to ensure that actors are adequately protected, and their rights are respected. As the world continues to navigate the AI revolution, it will be interesting to see how the industry adapts and evolves to keep up with technological advancements while ensuring the protection of its members’ livelihoods.

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