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AI in Entertainment

A Discussion at WonderCon

By Alexandrea CallaghanPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 3 min read

Ai in entertainment has been a discussion in the industry and among the public for a while now. It was a hot topic during the duel strike the film industry saw last year and it is one of the most important topics of discussion in the industry today. But what are we actually talking about? What is the impact of using AI in entertainment and how do we adapt to new technologies without selling our souls? Well WonderCon had an incredible panel on the topic that was educational and enlightening.

The first point of concern is AI’s widespread and general ability to replace artists. AI is not only being used to write scripts or to create cover art for Doctor Who. AI is being used to replicate peoples voices, their movement, and their likeness in an attempt to replace all artists and keep major corporations from having to pay them.

Now we all recognize that AI is a tool that can (and even should) be used. No one is asking for a complete ban, what they are asking for is ethically sourced databases, and payment. It boils down to consent, control and compensation.

Another point of major concern is the fact that AI generation and use strips artists of their artistry. The industry's desire to capture and copy everything marketable about any person doesn’t acknowledge the artistry of things like mocap for video games or voice acting. The public has long acknowledged that letting AI “create” only produces lifeless, soulless products, it does not create art.

Something all citizens should know is that there is currently no federal right of privacy. Meaning that in some states, any company, at any time can capture your image and use it however they please. You do not own any rights to yourself. Part of what industry associations and unions are attempting to do is change that. There is current legislation being drafted that grants these rights to privacy. NAVA and other industry associations are also taking these concerns global.

According to a recent NAVA survey 11% of voice actors have lost their jobs due to generative AI, and of those 11%, 80% of those actors were poc. So, like most other things in our world, this is not an equitable problem. The jobs that are being taken and the people that are losing money are disproportionately POC. This problem takes on a new tone when you think about who is making these decisions. Often when voice actors are recording work for a specific character that is meant to have a specific background these POC actors are there to keep the writing in check. They lend some authenticity to the project by being able to tell the writers and directors whether something is realistic or not, as a woman, as a person of color. There is no possible way for AI to do that. So when an AI system gathers its information from the internet it now becomes a system composed of a lot of stereotypes that there is no filtration system for. There is no longer a live person saying “hey this isn’t what this person would sound like”. So not only is this kind of AI use unethical on a fundamental level but it also undoes the decades of social progress that the industry has made.

AI systems are progressing quickly but the faster AI progresses the faster society actually falls behind. It takes 3 seconds of someone's vocal print to realistically copy their voice. 3 seconds. This makes things like identity theft, fraud and hate crimes so much easier to commit. And we have already seen it go in that direction, just this year. The AI generated photos of Taylor Swift that circulated earlier this year, that wasn’t done because the internet holds all this data on Ms. Swift it happened because someone disgusting and hateful used AI unethically. And they could do that to anyone. Our legislators need to leave TikTok alone and start focusing on AI, with new technological advancements there needs to be regulations. And regulations for every industry. AI needs to be used for tedious and simple tasks and not for taking over entertainment. A computer will never be able to create. A computer will never have the trauma it takes to be an artist. Protect entertainment and educate yourself on AI legislation and ethical uses.

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About the Creator

Alexandrea Callaghan

Certified nerd, super geek and very proud fangirl.

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