Hollywood Strike Over AI Sparks Creative Potential in Digital Humans

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Hollywood Actors and Writers Strike Over AI, While Companies Embrace Digital Humans

Hollywood actors and writers are currently on strike, expressing deep concern over the impact of generative artificial intelligence (AI) on their industry and job security. Fran Drescher, president of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) union, recently highlighted the existential threat posed by AI to creative professions. Drescher emphasized the need for contract language that safeguards actors and performers from having their identities and talents exploited without consent and fair compensation.

Despite the strike, several high-flying startups in the generative AI video space have a different perspective. Companies like Synthesia, Hour One, and Soul Machines see AI-generated avatars, or digital humans, as powerful creative tools that can benefit businesses, Hollywood, and celebrities who willingly consent to the use of their AI likenesses.

Natalie Monbiot, head of strategy at Hour One, explained that her company dislikes the term deepfakes because it implies unauthorized use of synthetic media and generative AI. Hour One seeks to provide authorized and legitimate solutions for businesses by utilizing synthetic media, particularly in the form of virtual humans. This technology offers a cost-effective and scalable alternative to traditional video production, catering to the growing demand for video content. Moreover, synthetic media enables businesses to easily produce promotional videos in multiple languages, thereby expanding their reach.

Soul Machines, a Los Angeles-based startup, recently partnered with K-Pop celebrity Mark Tuan to launch Digital Mark – the first AI-generated likeness of a celebrity using integrations like ChatGPT. Digital Mark allows Tuan’s 30 million fans to engage in one-on-one conversations on various topics. As K-Pop’s global fan base continues to expand, Digital Mark will enable Tuan to communicate with fans in multiple languages, starting with English and eventually incorporating Korean and Japanese capabilities.

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Jon Starck, Chief Technology Officer at Synthesia, believes AI-powered digital humans hold immense creative and efficiency potential. He stresses that despite video being inherently creative and engaging, the video production process itself lacks creativity. With AI-powered video generation, Starck envisions democratizing storytelling, allowing anyone to become a great storyteller. He even suggests that future films may be entirely created using synthetic data.

Starck has been working on digital humans for two decades, and through Synthesia, his team is tackling the challenge of representing human performance with high fidelity in computer-generated visuals. Their recent AI research project, HumanRF, captures dynamic human motion from multi-view video input, enabling playback from novel viewpoints. To create a high-quality dataset for this project, Synthesia accessed the movements and performances of real actors in a UK studio, including actors who are already available as avatars on the Synthesia platform. Starck emphasizes that Synthesia is not replacing actors in the movie industry but offering a new communication tool for businesses through synthetic video.

In conclusion, while Hollywood actors and writers strike over concerns about the impact of generative AI, companies like Synthesia, Hour One, and Soul Machines see the creative potential of digital humans and synthetic media. These technologies offer efficient and cost-effective solutions for businesses, while celebrities who consent to the use of their AI likenesses find new avenues for engaging with their fans. Although challenges remain, AI-powered digital humans have the potential to revolutionize various industries and empower individuals to become storytellers in their own right.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

What is the Hollywood strike about?

The Hollywood strike is primarily focused on the concerns over the impact of generative artificial intelligence (AI) on the job security and creative industries of actors and writers.

Who is leading the strike?

Fran Drescher, the president of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) union, is leading the strike.

What are the main concerns of the actors and writers?

The main concerns of the actors and writers involve the lack of contract language that safeguards their identities and talents from exploitation without consent and fair compensation in relation to AI-generated content.

How do the companies view AI-generated avatars or digital humans?

High-flying startups like Synthesia, Hour One, and Soul Machines view AI-generated avatars or digital humans as powerful creative tools that can benefit businesses, Hollywood, and celebrities who willingly consent to the use of their AI likenesses.

How can synthetic media and digital humans benefit businesses?

Synthetic media, particularly in the form of digital humans, offers a cost-effective and scalable alternative to traditional video production. It allows businesses to easily produce promotional videos in multiple languages, expanding their reach and catering to the growing demand for video content.

How are celebrities utilizing AI-generated likenesses?

Celebrities like Mark Tuan from the K-Pop industry are partnering with companies like Soul Machines to create AI-generated likenesses of themselves. These digital humans, such as Digital Mark, allow celebrities to engage in one-on-one conversations with their fans, even in multiple languages, offering an innovative way to connect on a deeper level.

Are AI-powered digital humans replacing actors in the movie industry?

No, AI-powered digital humans are not intended to replace actors in the movie industry. Instead, they offer a new communication tool for businesses through synthetic videos, enabling efficient and creative storytelling.

What is Synthesia's contribution to AI-powered digital humans?

Synthesia is a company focused on representing human performance with high fidelity in computer-generated visuals. They have developed AI research projects like HumanRF, which captures dynamic human motion, enabling novel viewpoints in playback. Synthesia creates a high-quality dataset by accessing the performances of real actors in a UK studio, offering a platform for businesses to utilize synthetic videos.

How do proponents of AI-powered digital humans envision its impact on storytelling?

Proponents believe that AI-powered digital humans have the potential to democratize storytelling, allowing anyone to become a great storyteller. Jon Starck, the CTO of Synthesia, even suggests that future films may be entirely created using synthetic data.

What is the potential impact of AI-powered digital humans on various industries?

AI-powered digital humans and synthetic media have the potential to revolutionize various industries by providing efficient and cost-effective solutions. They empower individuals to become storytellers in their own right, while businesses can leverage these technologies to engage their audiences and expand their reach.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

Advait Gupta
Advait Gupta
Advait is our expert writer and manager for the Artificial Intelligence category. His passion for AI research and its advancements drives him to deliver in-depth articles that explore the frontiers of this rapidly evolving field. Advait's articles delve into the latest breakthroughs, trends, and ethical considerations, keeping readers at the forefront of AI knowledge.

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