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VIP+ Guest Column: Sure, artificial intelligence will eliminate jobs, but it will create others — and open up a multitude of once-unforeseen opportunities.
Hollywood is no stranger to anti-aging efforts on and off the screen, so these funny and mostly harmless deepfakes have been widely accepted as a positive technological advance. But with the advent of artificial intelligence Programs like ChatGPT, Midjourney, and DALL-E, whose speed and results are both intriguing and somewhat terrifying, are ringing alarm bells among entertainment industry creatives.
In fact, there are legitimate, pressing concerns among creatives when it comes to AI. It’s about the practical question of preparing to reskill those whose jobs could go away and figuring out how to properly reward the artists whose work feeds AI machines.
While AI will destroy some jobs, it will also create new ones. But realistically, there’s no danger, at least in the short term, that ChatGPT will replace screenwriters or spawn the next Harry Potter. And DALL-E is not a Salvador Dalí.
But technology can – and should – benefit the industry by making things more efficient, Increasing fan engagement and possibly open Opportunities for creatives, all of which will help increase sales. Here are four ways creatives and artists can think about capitalizing on the opportunities to come.
1. Use machine learning to eliminate repetitive tasks
Creative careers are not necessarily always creative. But machine learning can help increase creative time by taking over monotonous tasks. With a simple set of parameters and prompts used by machine learning engines, we can focus on new creativity while the AI takes care of routine backgrounds and objects in scenes. For large studios, this would free up resources to develop new IP or take new approaches to existing IP.
2. Take advantage of predictive learning
Authors can use predictive learning tools in two ways, ultimately spending more time writing and reaching additional audiences. The first way is to think of an AI engine as a supercharged focus group. Rather than filling screening rooms with people to gauge reactions, AI engines can harness the power of the internet to more accurately predict how content will resonate with broad audiences. It may also include suggestions for improving or better targeting your work for a specific audience type based on key story elements such as character, setting, plot, and themes.
3. Use AI Engineers to complement Origin Artists
A big concern for the truly creative among us is to ensure that we receive appropriate compensation for our original artworks, as well as any resulting derivative AI pieces. Questions surrounding ownership and what I would call “original DNA” need to be addressed as the expanded use of original art will benefit both the industry and artists.
And as derivative uses of art increase, the potential for monetization for any creative work can be expanded as the “use cases” for such work become exponential. We need to look at all creative inputs to AI engines the same way we use music. Every time an original piece of music is sampled or used in a mashup, commercial, or film, the artist gets paid—every time.
The trick with artworks, literary works, and similar content is accurate attribution so that the creators, or “original artists,” receive a percentage royalty on each transaction based on the percentage they contributed to the final derivative artwork.
4. Find new ways to increase fan engagement after the curtain goes down
On the consumer side, AI can be used to create novel experiences for fans. While we’ve all experienced the frustration that comes with using a chatbot in customer service, we might react differently if we were interacting with our favorite characters in a fandom community. AI chatbots that take on the personalities of our favorite characters can offer franchises a new way for eager enthusiasts to extend their interactions with intellectual property.
Imagine giving fans the ability to have face-to-face conversations with their favorite characters in real-time. This could create an even deeper and more personal connection with the characters as they feel more relatable and relevant in an unprecedented way.
In short, there is really great potential for AI to creatively and financially help individuals and the industry as a whole. And we need to turn the script around and ask ourselves not how AI harms artists, but how we can use it to empower artists and enrich their careers so that no one is left standing in the rain.
And as with most new technologies, we need to make sure there are certain guard rails in place when they’re deployed. We have a shared responsibility to prepare everyone in our industry for the changes ahead.
John Attanasio is the CEO and co-founder of Web3 Story Studio toonstarHe was also a graduate of Warner Bros. and DreamWorks where he developed franchises such as Harry Potter, DC, LEGO, Looney Tunes and Shrek.
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