Queen Latifah has shared her thoughts about the controversial topic of AI use. The Hollywood star stated that she is putting AI to good use by collaborating with technology company Lenovo for its Evolve Small project and using her digital likeness to support small businesses.
She explained to People, “Lenovo came to me with the idea, and as someone who came from a startup with our management company Flava Unit, we know how challenging it can be to keep the doors open and the lights on,” remembering the stress of launching her music management company with partner Rakim back in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
“At one point, we managed about 11 gold and platinum artists, from SWV to Naughty By Nature and Monica. We were young and learning on the job. There were ups and downs, and so something like this would’ve been great to have available to us,” she added.
Using AI-customized advertisements that will appear on social media and billboards across the country, the 53-year-old Lenovo Evolve Small ambassador has agreed to represent a specific number of small businesses in six major cities.
The Emmy and Grammy award winner said, “This is something we’ve been working on for quite a while. And of course, I have my concerns [about AI] just like everyone else. But we talk about it—about how we’re going to use my image and likeness.”
“The reality is, most businesses can’t afford me. Yet they deserve that kind of promotion. Small businesses are really the backbone of our economy.”
Further stating its benefits, she said, “I don’t have to travel to six different cities or make hours’ worth of videos. It can be tailored specifically to what they want.”
The celebrity acknowledged that she has some reservations about AI and the digital likeness of herself, but she added, “I don’t think this is a bell we can unring. So I want to use it in a positive way, which is to help people and help people succeed.”
Nonetheless, Latifah declared that she fully supports the strict rules imposed on new technology, particularly within the Hollywood industry. “I’m down with the [SAG-AFTRA] union when it comes to that. Nobody wants to have their image and likeness just recreated in perpetuity. That’s unacceptable.”