How to Help Executives and Filmmakers Trust Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Sep 7, 2021 6:08:44 AM

The film industry has always helped to enliven the human imagination. Today it is one of the most popular types of entertainment, giving people the opportunity to escape from a sometimes heavy reality. 

However, it is not only about art, but also about business space with its own tasks and goals. Today, as technology drives almost all existing industries, filmmakers try to leverage new tools and means to take their product to the next level, attract more consumers, and, of course, earn money.

In this article, we will focus one of the most life-changing technologies for filmmaking - artificial intelligence (AI). What are the benefits and pitfalls of it for the industry? And how to leverage AI without risks?

How AI is Changing The Film Industry

In commerce, logistics, medicine, and facial recognition systems, artificial intelligence (AI) has already shown potential in transforming social and economic life. In creative industries, the role of AI is less prominent.

Making a film is a complex multistage process, so the film industry has remained resistant to machine intervention at some stages of pre-production: script selection, budgeting, casting. Attempts to implement AI are usually found in post-production: when creating graphics, animation, special effects, and color correction.

The production of modern blockbusters is not cheap, and whether the film will earn money or not is still a question. Artificial intelligence technologies help reduce risk and make financing decisions for projects in the film industry.

But how can AI change the entire process of filmmaking?

The film industry around the world has gradually invested and experimented with new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) over the past decade.

Algorithms based on artificial intelligence and machine learning have helped accomplish film-related tasks quickly and at scale in real-time. These latest technologies, when used effectively, provide some of the best editing, high-definition graphics, and visual effects available today.

  1. AI can greatly simplify the development of computer graphics and visual effects for films. Today, special attention is focused on the capabilities of AI to change faces. These opportunities are actively explored, for example, by Reddit users replacing the main characters of famous films such as Indiana Jones and Man of Steel with Nicolas Cage.
  2. Modern AI algorithms can rejuvenate characters in sequels of famous films, make low-plastic actors professional dancers, are used in artistic intimate scenes and achieve other rather spectacular results.
  3. Some of the most impressive changes that AI is bringing to filmmaking are in CGI. The motion capture costume has been around in Hollywood for a long time. With its help, the drawn characters completely repeat the plasticity of living actors.
  4. Another option for using AI in cinema is its involvement in scriptwriting, editing, and production of a film. So far, feature films and animations created by artificial intelligence are weak, but experts believe that in the near future, AI will be able to significantly help screenwriters, directors, and editors in working on films.
  5. In 2021, Respeecher, an AI voice generator company, revived Vincent Lombardi for the Super Bowl. The studio used voice synthesis that resulted in the appearance of Vince Lombardi at the stadium before the final game. His human-sized figure accompanied the field of the net, giving way to the realistic presence of the coach.
  6. IBM used Artificial Intelligence to create an alternate trailer for the 20th Century Fox sci-fi movie Morgan, which featured an anthropomorphic robot created by scientists.To train the supercomputer to select scenes for a good trailer, the company's analysts forced it to “watch” 100 films and their trailers.
  7. Founded in 2016 in Palo Alto, California, Arraiy developed and patented a different type of AI. Among other things, it can be used to add objects created with the help of computer graphics to films so that they look natural even if both the camera and the object itself are in motion.
  8. The Sinemia company uses AI to recommend films to subscribers. Unlike Netflix (it only collects data about the movies you watched on this platform), the Sinemia app asks users what movies they like or not. The company then compares your responses with those of other subscribers to predict which movies you will enjoy.

Despite the fact that AI greatly helps filmmakers save costs and resources on creating and promoting their products, it raises controversial moments pertaining to whether the new technology can replace human talent in the world of art.

Why Some Filmmakers Refuse to Use AI 

A lot of ‘old school’ filmmakers don’t want to use AI for their work. James Cameron, for example, believes that the development of artificial intelligence poses a real danger - perhaps not quite the one that his films tell about, but nevertheless.

In many ways, he admits that he wants to return to The Terminator at one point because at the moment we are much closer to the future described in the film series than at the time of the release of the first part.

He says that a lot of AI experts love the idea of leveraging it in the film industry. They think that they will create a database, which will include all the films made, and then make it accessible to AI so that they can analyze why viewers like these films. And then artificial intelligence will be able to make a movie itself. But Cameron believes that these films will be extremely bad. 

The thing is that artificial intelligence doesn't have a human experience. It will be a filmmaker who knows other films but does not understand what it means to be human. James Cameron says that every filmmaker has to live a little and only then pick up the camera and shoot a film about what they learned and what they experienced.

This one is the ethical issue of leveraging AI for the film industry. The point includes not only replacing and enhancing human resources but also changing human appearance, voice, and so on with the help of Artificial Intelligence. 

Another point that makes some filmmakers hesitant about AI is security issues.

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning systems require high volumes of complex data. That’s why there may appear a lot of ways in which such systems can be exploited. System manipulation,  data corruption & poisoning, transfer learning attacks, all can lead to losing crucial data without the ability to further restore it.

How to Prevent Misuse of The AI Technology in Filmmaking

AI systems can’t be considered by external stakeholders as “trustworthy” or “unreliable”. This is the organization that creates the technology that can be considered trustworthy or not, and artificial intelligence (AI) systems inherit the organization's reputation.

In today's challenging regulatory environment, the complexity of AI systems is forcing organizations to seek new ways to support their AI developments.

The most advanced tech companies state the principles of fairness, ethics, accountability, and transparency (FEAT) at the core of AI development. 

These are several critical points that any organization that creates AI software for the film industry should pay attention to prevent misuse of the technology:

  • People. From managers to senior management to the CEOs - should have a deep understanding of the assumptions and decisions made during the development and implementation of AI. Everyone working in this field is responsible for the reputation and financial results of the organization that provides the technology. 
  • Process. Filmmakers expect AI to be fair, ethical, and transparent. To ensure that all sides are on the same wavelength, there should be some form of documentation that can be shared with stakeholders. It serves as both evidence that a process has been implemented and followed, and as a mechanism for managing iteration and giving feedback.
  • Tools. Filmmakers don’t have to be savvy in artificial intelligence. So the company that provides this technology to the industry has to ensure that it also implements tools that can effectively develop and deploy AI in a specific organization. Such tools should facilitate the application of a guiding framework, expedite analysis to assess potential issues such as bias, and generate useful artifacts for internal and external stakeholders.

To build trust in AI, an organization has to align people, processes, and tools and create secure and trustworthy technologies. Without these specific steps, using Artificial Intelligence in the filmmaking industry can cause something that James Cameron predicted. 

Empowering an ethical and transparent process in which peers and managers mutually contribute to developing powerful solutions - is what can make more and more filmmakers turn to artificial intelligence tools to enhance their processes and products. 

With all said before, the filmmaking industry can greatly benefit from AI. Writing scripts, casting actors, composing music, editing, and promoting movies, all of these can be streamlined with the help of this technology.

The main point to remember is that a bad workman always blames his tools. In the right hands of talented filmmakers, AI technology will develop into a beautiful and amazing product that will find millions of fans all around the world.

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