Sixty years after her death, Édith Piaf’s voice will be re-created using AI to narrate her biopic.

Warner Music Group (WMG) has partnered with the Piaf estate to produce a feature-length film, Edith, which promises to offer a modern take on the La Vie en Rose singer’s story while using animation and archival footage to provide an authentic portrayal of her life. The use of artificial intelligence to replicate Piaf’s voice is expected to « further enhance the authenticity and emotional impact of her story », according to WMG.

The film is still in the proof-of-concept stage, with production company Seriously Happy working alongside WMG to further develop it. Award-winning documentary director Julie Veille, known for her documentaries on Diana Ross, Sting, and Stevie Wonder, conceived the film with the goal of conveying the messages Édith would want to convey to younger generations, focusing on themes of resilience and overcoming struggles.

Executors of Piaf’s estate, Catherine Glavas and Christie Laume, have expressed their excitement regarding the project, stating that hearing Édith’s voice again through the use of technology made it feel like they were back in the room with her. They also praised the animation used in the film for showing the real side of Édith, displaying her joyful personality, humor, and unwavering spirit.

The use of AI technology to create the voices of deceased artists, as seen in the case of Andy Warhol and Edward Herrmann, has sparked controversy and raised ethical concerns regarding the use of such technology to recreate iconic voices. The controversy reached music with the use of AI software to isolate John Lennon’s voice to help the surviving Beatles record their final song together, with Paul McCartney emphasizing that no new Lennon performance was created using the software. AI has also been used to create entirely original performances by vocalists, leading to objections from the artists themselves._Not to mention that the process had ethical concerns about the moral implementation of recreating iconic voices dead or alive.