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Celebrities vs. AI Round 2: The target this time is Tom Brady

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The animated comedy special “It’s Too Easy: A Simulated Hour-Long Comedy Special” featuring an AI representation of retired NFL star Tom Brady has made headlines after his company TB12 allegedly sent a cease-and-desist letter to the creators, comedians Will Sasso and Chad Kultgen of the Dudesy podcast. 

This is the second instance of AI being used to create controversial content around celebrities this week after German magazine Die Aktuelle came under heavy criticism for publishing a fabricated AI-generated interview with F1 icon Michael Schumacher.

The comedy special went viral and showcased a comedic side of the 45-year-old athlete that fans rarely get to see. However, it seems that Brady himself was not laughing.

As reported by the New York Post, the AI-simulated Tom Brady’s monologue featured jokes about his use of dating apps after his split from Gisele Bündchen. He reportedly stated that he had never used dating apps before and didn’t know what he was doing. He added that when someone messaged him on Bumble, commenting that he looked like Tom Brady, he responded, “I am Tom Brady,” and when asked to prove it, he went to the person’s house and “let a little air out of all her footballs.”

In the cease and desist letter to the creators, Brady’s company TB12 reportedly claimed that the video “used Brady’s name and likeness” to “promote” their podcast. Brady’s lawyers threatened to pursue a lawsuit if the hosts, Will Sasso and Chad Kultgen, did not comply with additional requirements outlined in the letter. One of those requirements prohibited the creators from using Brady’s name or likeness on their show moving forward, to which the hosts said they were “happy to comply” with during the podcast, according to CBS News.

During their discussion of the legal document, Sasso and Kultgen pointed out that Brady’s lawyers had claimed the hour-long monologue in the video to have been delivered in Mr. Brady’s voice. Kultgen clarified that the monologue was not actually delivered in Brady’s voice but was created using an AI approximation of his voice. “We’re not trying to make it seem like it’s Tom Brady,” Kultgen emphasized, adding that “simulated literally means not the real thing.” 

Following receipt of the letter, the comedians removed the video from their Patreon and all other content channels. The duo said that they had used “data from astonishing interviews” with Brady and “hundreds of thousands of hours of stand-up comedy” footage to create the special.

Despite the legal issues with Brady, Sasso and Kultgen have plans to release more AI-generated content featuring public figures in the future.

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