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Artificial Intelligence: Revolutionising the Film Industry or a Loss of Creativity, Authenticity and Diversity?

Last week, The Guardian released an article exploring the potential impacts of Artificial Intelligence on the TV and Film Industry, and whether or not it could potentially change Hollywood forever. We’re all familiar with the “Artificial Intelligence turns on humans” trope, with films such as ‘Megan’, and I,Robot, but should we be more open to the ways AI can help us rather than seeing it as something slightly disturbing? AI is increasingly being used in the Film Industry in a number of ways, including for colour grading, generating movie trailers and aiding in the casting process. AI Algorithms can even be used to conduct data analysis on the most effective ways to market and distribute a film. These tools can streamline filmmaking from Pre-Production all the way to Post Production, saving both time and money for productions. 

However, as a company that champions representation, diversity and culture behind and in front of the camera, we have to question whether AI has the ability to create projects that make the audience really feel something when watching. Does it have the ability to produce something truly representative of a group of people in society? We look to Scriptwriters to craft stories and highly emotional content, pulling inspiration from meaningful human experiences that resonate with audiences from all walks of life. Using AI tools such as Chatbot GPT, there’s a risk that screenplays will begin to lose the little nuances and human details that are crucial for creating culturally relevant content, and more importantly, there’s clearly a high likelihood of these algorithms operating on unrepresentative data. AI expert Meredith Broussard, who featured in 2020 Netflix documentary ‘Coded Bias’, explains why Racism, Sexism, and Ableism are systematic problems in an interview with The Guardian; “ I’m arguing that racism, sexism and ableism are systemic problems that are baked into our technological systems because they’re baked into society. It would be great if the fix were more data. But more data won’t fix our technological systems if the underlying problem is society.”. 

The Tech industry is very much a white male dominated field, and AI is ultimately being programmed to work a certain way based on the information the programmer gives it. Veronica Combs (Tech Republic 2020) questions the “Explainability ” of using Artificial Intelligence to make decisions about movies, in other words, whether humans have confidence or trust in these artificial datasets and automated decision processes. Veronica posed the following questions, “Are male actors more likely to get a greenlight than female actors?” and “Are white actors more likely to be recommended for a leading role than black actors?”. 

Overall, it’s clear that Artificial Intelligence will continue to make a huge impact in the industry and while we are staying open minded to ways it could be a practical help, we can’t help but worry about the inherently racist data it operates on, as well as its potential long term negative effects for diversity Film and Tv industry.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Written by Majel David

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