Late gaming personality TotalBiscuit's likeness reportedly used in AI training without permission

Genna Bain, widow to the late John Bain, AKA TotalBiscuit, says programmers used his likeness to train AI and promote causes in his voice without permission.


As we get deeper into the AI and Chatbot trend, we are seeing a new kind of Wild West of what people will do with it, good intentions or not. Such is the case with a recent issue regarding the deceased John Bain, better known as TotalBiscuit. His surviving wife, Genna Bain says she may have to wipe the internet of media with his presence because AI programmers are using his voice to train AI to push unapproved causes without consent of the family.  

Controversial at times, Bain was undoubtedly one of the best-known faces of YouTube and gaming up until his unfortunate passing in 2018 from colorectal cancer. However, his name still has a lot of clout behind it with many of his videos featuring other major faces in the gaming space such as The Jimquisition's Stephanie Sterling or inXile Entertainment's Brian Fargo. That content may end up wiped out, as shared by Genna Bain on her personal twitter regarding her issues with AI and its use of media featuring TotalBiscuit.

“Being faced with making a choice of scrubbing all of my late husband’s lifetime of content from the internet,” Genna wrote. “Apparently people think it’s okay to use his library to train voice AIs to promote their social commentary and political views.”

Genna Bain's tweet regarding AI use of her late husband, John Bain, and his likeness.
Genna Bain claims AI programmers used her husband's likeness to train bots to mimic him in unapproved advertisement and political causes.
Source: Genna Bain

Bain’s tweet would suggest that she or the Bain estate became aware of certain entities utilizing TotalBiscuit media content, whether on YouTube or elsewhere, to train AI to mimic his voice and deliver either advertisement or political takes in his stead, pushing her to consider scrubbing his channel and media related to him. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen new technology and trends used in a highly controversial manner. During the NFT craze, some may recall when an NFT creator minted and sold NFTs of deceased YouTuber Desmond 'Etika' Amofah.

With the AI trend coming into prominence, there’s even more potential for shady or even illegal dealings as Genna Bain has pointed out. In more harmless instances, we’ve seen a large wave of memes that feature AI facsimiles of Donald Trump and Joe Biden bickering over common gaming arguments, as seen in Evening Reading.

In recent major tech news, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang has called AI an inflection point in tech, and is enthusiastic about its future and applications. Meanwhile, Elon Musk has called it dangerous technology, and called for better regulatory oversight into AI’s uses and applications.

The use of TotalBiscuit’s likeness in AI for promotion or political use is arguably a good representation of the dangers Elon Musk suggested AI poses. It's unlikely that this is the last case we’ll see like it, so stay tuned as we continue to watch for further news on AI or updates to this story.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

Hello, Meet Lola