Industry experts say the use of artificial intelligence in television and film production could render actors redundant.
Actors – including motion capture guru Andy Serkis – have spoken to Sky News about their concerns about the fallout artificial intelligencethe agency union Equity insisted the government’s pro-innovation stance did not take into account the human cost.
“You can put anyone in any situation, say anything, and it’s a risk for all of us,” the Lord of the Rings star told Sky News in a recorded interview earlier this year.
“For security, for politicians, we live in a post-truth world … it’s scary.
“Algorithms are controlling our tastes and our entire lives are being driven by a higher force that we are losing control of.”
From blockbuster powerhouses like Indiana Jones using the technology to rejuvenate actor Harrison Ford, to the Fast franchise using it to revive deceased stars like Paul Walker, artificial intelligence is now everywhere in film and television .
ITV’s Deep Fake Neighbor Wars – a comedy featuring celebrities who have never been filmed on screen – is one of the more disturbing examples of how the potential of technology is now being used.
‘We are giving up our moral rights’
But artificial intelligence isn’t just an A-lister problem.
Laurence Bouvard is no celebrity, but she’s been working as an extra for over 30 years through voiceover work and smaller roles in television and theater. More and more, she said, she and her peers were bound into contracts in which they had little say in how their performances ultimately turned out.
“We’re signing away all of our moral rights,” she said. “They’re basically allowing the AI to use your data indefinitely for any project.”
“We basically have a choice – you sign it and get used to it, or you don’t sign it and you don’t work for that company.”
Bouvard said her performing colleagues often find that the audio they submit to auditions is being sampled and used by tech companies for little or no pay. Ultimately, the fear was that it would be used by computers to put her out of a job.
It’s a brave new world for those in the industry.
AI expert Dr. Stuart Armstrong put it simply: “The performance industry is going to change.”
“It will transform into a new form dictated by economic and union agreements and regulations. At worst, actors become redundant.”
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Equity this week felt compelled to produce a legal toolkit to advise its members on what to look out for.
As industry official Liam Bard explained, it believes the government’s determination “to become a global AI superpower” means it is not interested in proxy union concerns.
“We have a UK legal framework that is not designed to protect performers from the unauthorized imitation of their work using artificial intelligence technology,” he said.
Behind the scenes, algorithms are now also being used to predict the success of movies before they are greenlit. Warner Bros. It was recently confirmed that it signed a deal with a Los Angeles-based startup whose projects will assist the studio with some decision-making.
As artificial intelligence quickly becomes an integral part of the creative process – the fate of the actor is intertwined with that of the machine.