AI Is Nowhere Near Being Able to Remake ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ With a Different Actor – Yet | Video

TheGrill 2023: Cineverse president and chief strategy officer Erick Opeka discussed what needs to happen to turn that into reality

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“Last year, generative AI was on no one’s radar screen,” Peter Csathy, chairman of Creative Media said Wednesday during TheWrap’s annual industry conference TheGrill.

Csathy — alongside Erick Opeka, president and chief strategy officer for Cineverse; Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO; explAIner-in-chief at Human Artistry Campaign Dr. Moiya McTier; head of media and entertainment partnerships for Intel, Rick Hack; Lore Machine founder Thobey Campion; and What’s Trending founder Shira Lazar — discussed the future of AI, which, according to Opeka, isn’t as expansive as it’s been feared to be.

“The bigger picture is we’re using a lot of the technology we have to think about where is this going and how do we build systems to build the next generation of entertainment?” Opeka said.

“There’s very limited data today,” he continued. “Most of the LLMs today are very focused on textual-based data or individual images.” This is because the datasets created for AI were done over a decade ago and are still limited in scope. “The datasets that exist today are very, very far away from saying, ‘Hey, create ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ but put this actor in it,” he said.

What would it take for that to happen, then? As Opeka laid out, there are several things that needed to be negotiated starting with regulation.

“Are we, as a society, going to allow that?” he said. There’s also a logistical component. The sheer amount of processing power and data that comes with building a system to allow that are, as Opeka explained, the “exclusive playground” of the largest companies in the world. It wouldn’t be something available to the masses.

And because the current data is all textual, it forces AI generators to craft things using descriptive tags. “How do you have descriptive tags at a level of depth to do full-length movies? It takes an incredible amount of processing power [and] you need experts that are watching,” Opeka said.

Opeksa explained that despite this being AI, there is still a lot of manpower that goes into processing. Most language models today, he said, have 40-50 people working on them: “Literally armies of people behind the curtain [are] training these models.”

That also begs the question of how people would be compensated, whether working on the models or being the basis for them. One would also have to answer the age-old question of whether there’s a business model for that.

As Opeka further explained, it’s one thing to craft something that could let a film viewer watch “Robocop” with a different actor in it, or that’s a comedy, but would a mass audience be willing to pay for that? He compared the tech to the early 1900s, when people were watching dime-store nickelodeons (short videos).

“It’s a far cry from ‘Avatar,’ but it’s the genesis that led to ‘Avatar.’”

Watch the full panel in the video below.

About TheGrill: For more than a decade, TheGrill event series has led the conversation on the convergence of entertainment, media and technology, bringing together newsmakers to debate the challenges of and opportunities for making content in the digital age. TheGrill delivers a unique series of curated discussions, industry panels and networking activations that explore the ever-changing media landscape.

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One response to “AI Is Nowhere Near Being Able to Remake ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ With a Different Actor – Yet | Video”

  1. You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Hires You Avatar
    You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Hires You

    Long form narratives like movies and television series may be out of the mix for now, but what about 15 second, 30 second, and 1 minute commercials?

    ACTRA Toronto Executive Director Alistair Hepburn made a video warning ACTRA union members about the threat that AI poses to ACTRA union performers.

    ACTRA ( Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television, and Radio Artists ), is Canada’s largest film, television, and radio performers’ union with 28,000 members nationwide.

    Without meaning to, Alistair Hepburn effectively came up with a very compelling argument in favor of advertising agencies and the corporations hiring advertising agencies to use cheaper non-union performers instead of costly ACTRA union members in their advertising campaigns.

    The same argument that the ACTRA Toronto Executive Director unintentionally made against using ACTRA union members in the video that he made for ACTRA Toronto can be applied to the SAG-AFTRA union members who perform in commercials in the US.

    Alistair Hepburn begins the Canadian video with the words “You’re an ACTRA member and I’m not”

    Alistair Hepburn, the person who’s not an ACTRA union member, looks and sounds great ( in two languages ) in this video.

    He could have looked and sounded great in ten different languages through the use of AI.

    The viewing and listening audience wouldn’t have any idea that Alistair Hepburn wasn’t an ACTRA Toronto union member.

    A corporation that would be on the fence about hiring an agency that wouldn’t use ACTRA union members in their commercials could be won over by a video that showed what could be done with AI as well as the video that Alistair Hepburn appeared in.

    The Executive Director of ACTRA Toronto did the work for the salespeople for the agency that would win the advertising campaign away from a rival agency that would have used costly ACTRA Toronto union members.

    Why would a company pay top dollar for an ACTRA union member when they could pay somebody who’s not an ACTRA union member who looks and sounds as professional as Alistair Hepburn did in a video warning ACTRA Toronto union members about being replaced by non-union performers through the use of A.I. for a fraction of what it would cost to make the same video using an ACTRA Toronto union member?

    Why would a company pay one ACTRA union member to do the English language version of a commercial and then pay another ACTRA union member in Quebec to dub the commercial in French in a different sounding voice?

    It would be more effective ( audibly effective, visually effective, and above all cost effective ) to have a non-union performer like Alistair Hepburn do the English language version and then use AI to have them ‘speak’ French in the exact same voice with visually altered mouth movements.

    One person, one performance, in however many languages the company paying for the commercials may desire in a very short amount of time.

    How are the English speaking voice-over artists going to feel when the voices of French speaking performers
    ( who can’t speak English ) make commercials in Quebec that end up getting dubbed in English ( with no trace of a French accent ) in the French speaking performers’ voice through the use of AI ?

    It’s amazing what AI can do now. Imagine what AI will be able to do two years from now.

    If ACTRA Toronto union fires Alistair Hepburn from his position as the Executive Director within the next two years he could probably find work in non-union commercials that are going to be made for companies that will be hiring agencies that won’t be using ACTRA union members in their commercials because of the video that Alistair Hepburn made for ACTRA Toronto in 2023.


    The following was posted on ACTRA Toronto’s X ( formerly Twitter ) page on Nov. 16, 2023 :

    “ACTRA Toronto Executive Director Alistair Hepburn has an important message about AI and its affect on performers. Sound up and you won’t want to miss this.

    Follow ACTRA’s political action page as we pursue consent, compensation and control for performers as it relates to AI. ”

    ( Check out the video below and ask yourself what you would do if you were an agency and a corporation that could get results like this with AI for a fraction of what it would cost you to make the same commercial with union members. Be honest with yourself. )

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