The Morning After: That AI-generated George Carlin comedy special was written by humans

Carlin’s estate is suing the creators.

YouTube / George Carlin

As generative AI (and access to AI tools) continues to grow, expect to see more things like the tumult over “George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead.” Released on (then pulled from) YouTube, it’s framed as an hour of new “material” by the comedian, who died in 2008. Of course, it's not that. It isn't based on old notes or lost routines, either, like recent releases from the Beatles, and George Carlin’s estate has filed a lawsuit against the makers.

Initial reports from NPR said the AI was trained on thousands of hours of Carlin routines to create the material. Dudesy, the channel that created and posted the video, was later approached by The New York Times, and their spokesperson said the video was “completely written by Chad Kultgen” — one of the channel’s hosts.

Both hosts, comedian Will Sasso and writer Kultgen, are named in the suit. They claim the AI-created Carlin is like an impressionist. (Although, it’s really not a great one…)

The complaint seeks unspecified damages and the immediate removal of “any video or audio copies” of the special.

— Mat Smith

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Fossil gives up on smartwatches

But will keep releasing updates for a few years.


Fossil is officially out of the smartwatch business. Its Wear OS smartwatch lineup hasn’t seen a new model since 2021, and the company has now confirmed it’s getting out of wearables. If you own a Fossil-branded watch (which covers several fashion brands like Skagen, Michael Kors, Diesel and even Emporio Armani), you should get updates for the next few years.

But let’s be clear: It probably wasn’t the Pixel Watch that landed the finishing blow.

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Tesla recalls 200,000 vehicles because of a faulty backup camera

A software issue keeps it from activating when vehicles are in reverse.

Tesla is recalling 200,000 vehicles in the US, following reports the backup cameras wouldn’t engage when cars were put in reverse — which is the whole point of the things. Tesla has processed 81 warranty claims potentially related to the issue, according to Autoblog. The recall includes certain Model Y, Model S and Model X vehicles from 2023. Tesla says it delivered 1.8 million vehicles last year, so this recall accounts for more than 10 percent of the company’s yearly output. If this sounds familiar, well, it comes six weeks after Tesla recalled over two million vehicles after serious safety issues with its Autopilot feature.

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X blocked Taylor Swift searches to ‘prioritize safety’

After pornographic deepfakes of the singer went viral last week.

Reuters / Reuters

X confirmed it’s preventing users from searching Taylor Swift’s name after pornographic deepfakes of the artist began circulating on the platform. Visitors to the site started noticing on Saturday that some searches containing Swift’s name would only return an error message.

The platform’s handling of the issue has been slow. After the images went viral last Wednesday, Swifties took matters into their own hands (of course!) mass-reporting the accounts that shared the images and flooding the hashtags relating to the singer with positive content. Do you not remember the snake emoji saga?

Continue reading.

Engadget Podcast: The Mac turns 40

And we review the Framework Laptop 16.

Thoughts, feelings and facts this week on the Mac hitting middle age, the modular laptop capable of gaming and the realization that the Apple car dream is still alive. This week, Devindra is joined by News Editor Nathan Ingraham.

Listen here.