Would Michelle Hurd allow the use of AI for the character of Raffi?


Recently, William Shatner came out in favor of the use of AI technology for his Captain Kirk but only after he is gone and with the proper amount of compensation for his family. In fact, the actor said he would encourage his family to say yes. So it's no surprise the question was posed to Star Trek: Picard's Michelle Hurd (Raffi). At the 51st Annual Saturn Awards, Trekmovie caught up with Hurd and asked if she was okay personally with the use of AI for the character she portrayed on Picard.

"Well, the thing that I love about that possibility is say that I was shooting something in New York or in California, and they go “Oh, we really want to do this AI-generated scene with you, but you don’t have to be here.” I now negotiate how much they have to pay me to do that. And I still get to be in that LA shooting whatever scene I’m doing right there. So ostensibly, I’m doing two jobs at the same time. I think that’s pretty good as long as they paid me what I negotiated and I get the consent of what they’re going to do with the character."

Michelle Hurd

Hurd, who is a SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee member, explained how the terms and conditions of AI are now included in the new contract that was recently negotiated to bring an end to the strike.

"What I love is that we now have codified in our contract for AI technology is there is consent, compensation, and pension and health contributions. So if they wanted to bring back people, perhaps people that have passed, they have to talk to the estate and living relatives and get permission and get compensation, so everybody wins, if you think about it. So you can bring those people alive and do all that kind of stuff, but you are doing it in a correct way and everyone is being paid for it. If you think about it, our industry is the only one that has actually put guardrails on AI technology."

Michelle Hurd

AI opens up a world of possibilities for the families of those actors who have passed on, like Hurd said. Not only could Star Trek bring back some beloved faces and characters we haven't seen in a while, new Star Trek viewers would have the chance to get to see them essentially do new work. But, of course, not everyone will be onboard with this type of technology, and some fans would much rather the characters remain in the past. It all comes down to if the families would allow the use and if Star Trek saw a need for that character to reappear in a new or current series. It's an interesting concept, and one that will surely play out on Star Trek series and/or movies in the future.

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