As you likely have seen in the news of late, writers and actors have gone on strike over issues related to revenue and how AI could further scale into the entertainment industry. Partifcally with VFX, AI has become an important tool to help create movies, but there are some actors who are completely against the idea of using AI in any project that they’re involved. Much of it is due to fear of having their likeness used in AI replicas without proper permission.
So let’s take a look at a few actors who’ve used AI, are against AI, and one who is on the fence when it comes to article intelligence in entertainment.
Actors Using AI
In the latest installment of the Indiana Jones franchise the use of de-aging technology powered by AI, was an important element in the story which brought back the iconic archeologist for one last adventure. In the case of this film, the process used machine learning algorithms to analyze and manipulate the actor’s facial features, skin texture, and other visual elements.
If you heard his voice, you know exactly who James Earl Jones is. As the legendary actor entered retirement, he didn’t want the voice that brought Darth Vadar to life to retire with him. So he, Disney, and a Ukrainian startup teamed together to not only preserve his voice but with the power of AI, it can now be fed new dialogue for future installments of the Star Wars cinematic universe.
Many may not realize, but Ryan Reynolds isn’t just an actor, he’s also an owner of a few businesses. And in this case, the one we’ll be focusing on will be his phone service Mint Mobile. Six months ago, via his YouTube Channel, the actor decided to jump onto the ChatGPT train and decided to see how the chatbot could write an ad for his company. The point would be for it to use his voice using a joke and curse words in order to inform customers about Mint Moble’s holiday promotion.
You can watch the entity video below, but Reynolds said that using AI was “mildly terrifying but compelling.”
Neutral or against AI
While speaking on The Adam Buxton Podcast, Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks lamented how he’d likely be in movies long after his death thanks to AI. And in his view, it’s not an if, but a when as AI has rapidly advanced in its ability to mimic live humans thanks to many viral deep fake videos. He said in part, “Anybody can now recreate themselves at any age they are by way of AI or deep fake technology… I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it, but my performances can go on and on and on.”
Finally, he ponders a deeper question, would the audience care if it’s an AI-generated representation of him or not? And in his view, it’s unlikely.
The Matrix star is an interesting case, when it comes to AI and deep fake-related technology, he has a specific clause in his contracts that prohibit it from behind used on him during and post-production. In his view, AI could be used to distort and manipulate his performance; reducing his own input into the work overall.
He stated his concerns as “What’s frustrating about that is you lose your agency,…When you give a performance in a film, you know you’re going to be edited, but you’re participating in that. If you go into deepfake land, it has none of your points of view. That’s scary. It’s going to be interesting to see how humans deal with these technologies. They’re having such cultural, sociological impacts, and the species is being studied. There’s so much ‘data’ on behaviors now.”
His position against AI isn’t just limited to film, he also points to art, music, and even NFTs as having an adverse effect on how we value what is real.
In a post on Instagram, the Buffy and Veronica Mars star warned that “AI is coming”, naming other occupations within entertainment as also not being safe from AI. Supporting the writer’s and actor’s strike, the actress joins many other well-known entertainers who view AI’s influence within the industry as full of risk due to what they claim are studio demands related to their likeness and work.
Unlike Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson has no intention of just accepting AI as something that will happen. Though other actors are using the technology in their work, Jackson has come out to state he was shocked by statements made by fellow actors such as Tom Hanks. He went so far as to admit his fears related to AI go back to his time working with George Lucas on the Star Wars prequel movies.
One thing that the actor wanted to stress, partially to younger and less experienced actors, is the importance of reading the contracts. Using himself as an example, he didn’t want a rendering of himself creating content after he died – pointing specifically to clauses that allow for future use of likeness. He said in part, “Future actors should do what I always do when I get a contract, and it has the words ‘in perpetuity’ and ‘known and unknown’ on it: I cross that shit out,” said the actor. “It’s my way of saying, ‘No, I do not approve of this.”
As you can see, though AI has been used for some time in entertainment, there is a growing fracture within the industry when it comes to how to use the technology and the idea of necessary projections for those within the industry at risk of AI pushing workers out.
How to Learn More
If you’re interested in discovering how AI is affecting other industries, and how they’re learning to adapt to the emerging technology, then you don’t want to miss ODSC West, 2023. There you’ll get to learn from the leading experts who are creating the foundations for our future through artificial intelligence. So get your pass today, and get discover what’s on the horizon thanks to AI.