The creative potential unleashed: Insights from entertainment stars on AI

Category: AI Americas Regulatory

AI looms not only as a potential threat to the traditional vocations of writers, programmers, administrators, and countless others. The impact of its creative potential reverberates across diverse sectors, encompassing construction, food service, retail, manufacturing, editing and proofreading, telemarketing, bookkeeping clerks, and even payroll and benefits managers.

For those who still cling to the notion that human creativity and ingenuity reigns supreme, an eye-opening revelation awaits. Esteemed veterans from the film and music industries have come forward, highlighting the imminent disruptions AI brings to their respective fields.

Tom Hanks envisions posthumous film appearances with AI

Tom Hanks discussed the creative potential of AI at length.
Hollywood veteran and legend Tom Hanks.

Tom Hanks, a prominent figure in Hollywood, shared his thoughts on the utilisation of artificial intelligence in movies, especially as he ages and maintains his sought-after name and likeness.

The esteemed actor acknowledged that AI’s presence in the industry is not new but has persistently existed. Hanks recalls the pivotal moment in the integration of technology during the creation of the animated film “The Polar Express” in 2004, where their own visual data was stored within a computer.

He mentioned that they had foreseen the forthcoming ability to convert digital data into lifelike faces and characters. According to him, this capability has since expanded tremendously and become ubiquitous. Additionally, he stated that discussions are taking place among guilds, agencies, and legal firms to address the legal consequences associated with the intellectual property rights of his own face, voice, and those of others.

If I wanted to, I could get together and pitch a series of seven movies that would star me in them in which I would be 32 years old, from now until kingdom come. Anybody can now recreate themselves at any age they are by way of AI or deepfake technology – Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks contemplated the possibility of his performances outlasting his own mortality, as AI could generate lifelike replicas of him. He acknowledged the artistic and legal challenges posed by this advancement. Hanks questioned whether audiences would truly care if future projects featured his genuine presence or were artificially produced.

Without a doubt, people will be able to tell, but the question is, will they care? – Tom Hanks

He drew parallels between AI and the printing press, suggesting that while some individuals valued authenticity, many remained indifferent. Notably, Hanks had already experienced AI’s influence in his work. In the 2004 film “The Polar Express,” director Robert Zemeckis employed motion-capture technology to capture Hanks’ facial expressions, enabling him to portray multiple characters. Despite the film being animated, Hanks breathed life into six distinct roles through this innovative approach.

Zemeckis clarified that “The Polar Express” should be classified as digitally rendered rather than animated, emphasising the authenticity of the acting and directing involved.

This isn’t an animated film; it’s digitally rendered. The acting is all acting, the directing is all directing. – Robert Zemeckis

Isaac Kerlow, a former director of digital production at the Walt Disney Co., described the complexity of the film’s production, involving a sophisticated capture system with multiple cameras and facial markers for real-time performance capture.

Zemeckis and Hanks are once again collaborating in the upcoming film “Here,” based on a graphic novel. Utilising AI, the movie aims to de-age both actors and is set within a single room, spanning across different time periods. Tom Hanks and Robin Wright are set to star in this intriguing project.

The Police’s Sting anticipates an AI showdown with music

Sting, the former frontman of The Police, believes that musicians are in for a challenging time as the creative potential of AI becomes increasingly realised in the music industry. He describes it as a battle to safeguard the essence of music, often referred to as “human capital.”

Sting, former primary songwriter and lead vocals for The Police.

According to Sting, the upcoming years will witness this struggle unfold, highlighting the potential impact of AI on the music landscape.

The rise of AI-generated songs has led to an increase in the recreation of music by well-known artists such as Eminem, Drake, The Weeknd, and Oasis. Sting, in an interview with the BBC, expresses his concern over the future of music and the need to defend what he refers to as the “building blocks of music,” emphasising that they belong to humans.

He views it as a battle that everyone must confront in the coming years, stressing the importance of humans taking charge of the AI tools rather than allowing machines to dominate.

That’s going to be a battle we all have to fight in the next couple of years: Defending our human capital against AI. The tools are useful, but we have to be driving them. I don’t think we can allow the machines to just take over. We have to be wary. – Sting

Sting draws a parallel between AI-generated songs and movies that employ CGI, expressing his lack of enthusiasm for computer-generated images and foreseeing a similar sentiment toward AI-produced music. While he acknowledges that AI may have its place in electronic dance music, he doubts its ability to evoke genuine emotional connection in songs.

Sting’s remarks on AI’s creative potential precede the Ivor Novello songwriting awards, where he is set to receive a prestigious fellowship, joining the esteemed ranks of musicians such as Sir Paul McCartney, Kate Bush, Joan Armatrading, Peter Gabriel, and Sir Elton John.

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