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Cinema & AI

Your weekly CogX newsletter on AI and content creation

Will voice actors exist post AI cloning?

Voice actors are competing with cloned versions of themselves as companies use AI models trained on their voices. Actors are pushing for time limits for companies’ ownership of their voice rights and cloning consent clauses. Will policymakers protect voice actors? Or will the profession die out?

Meanwhile in Hollywood, Meryl Streep and other A-Listers demanded compensation when AI models are trained on their work and threatened a strike.

Studios and unions have extended negotiations until 12 July - if there is no resolution, expect huge disruption to film and television. Actors or studios: who will blink first?

Read more about this and more in the CogX Must Reads - including new funding for Runway, de-ageing in Indiana Jones and a class action lawsuit against OpenAI.

CogX Must Reads
Hollywood A-listers pushback on AI

Jennifer Lawrence, Ben Stiller and hundreds of other Hollywood A-listers wrote an open letter urging their union leaders to protect actors.

They called 2023 an “unprecedented inflection point” for the industry given the impact of AI and demanded the negotiation protects “not just our likeness, but makes sure we are well compensated when any of our work is used to train AI.”

Actors union agrees to extend talks

Hours before the deadline, the US actors’ union and Hollywood studios announced an extension to negotiations until 12 July.

Sag-Aftra, which represents 160,000 actors, believes a compromise is possible but strikes are looming. Combined with the Writers Guild strike, it would be the first two-union strike in the film industry for over 60 years, disrupting filmmaking.

De-ageing in film

Harrison Ford is back as an 80 year old in the Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny new film.

De-ageing AI is used to make Ford appear in his 40s in an extended flashback in the film. Will using AI to resurrect deceased actors to play new roles be next? Some in the industry worry about the ethical implications.

Leading director enters AI debate

Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, director of Pinocchio and Hellboy, claimed he doesn’t fear the rise of AI.

There are incredible opportunities today and people thrive despite hardships - we should worry more about humans’ “natural stupidity” than AI.

Actors lose their voices to AI

Voice actors are facing competition from their own voices in AI models. They’ve typically signed contracts giving away their voice rights for perpetuity, in standard practice for the industry.

The world has now changed with AI, and their voices are being sold for training sets. Legally, artists have little recourse - copyright laws in the UK haven’t changed for 25 years. But actors are calling for new rights including time limited contracts and explicit cloning consent clauses.

Authors sue OpenAI for novels copyright infringement

A class action lawsuit has been filed in San Francisco by authors alleging that OpenAI harvested mass quantities of copyright protected works without credit, consent or compensation.

OpenAI previously disclosed that 15% of training data for GPT-3 came from “two internet based books corpora.” Creative writers are fighting back

Use Cases
How to make viral AI music

A Rolling Stone investigation with Grammy winning songwriter Evan Bogart examined how to create hit music with AI.

Bogart used ChatGPT to help write lyrics, AI beatmakers to kick off sessions and voice clones of artists on top. He created a Biggie rap about AI taking over the world featuring Harry Styles vocals in just a few hours. Bogart believes collaborating with AI will be mutually beneficial and doesn’t fear human replacement.

How AI will change filmmaking

Matt Gregory, CEO of RedShark Media, outlines five key elements of the filmmaking process that AI is disrupting today:

Storytelling and script analysis
Improved pre production planning and location scouting
Intelligent video editing and post production
Realtime VFX and CGI integration
Personalised audience engagement and marketing
He believes this is just the start and filmmakers need to embrace the technology.

Company Spotlight
Runway raises $141m funding

Runway, a startup building generative AI tools for multimedia content creators, raised an additional $141m in a Series C funding round from Google, Nvidia, Salesforce and others.

Runway’s flagship Gen-2 model generates video from text prompts or images and is used by content creators. The funding will scale research efforts and help build new tools for artists and creators

Top Stories

In case you missed it

CNBC explore how AI entered filmmaking and disrupted Hollywood:

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this week’s Issue aånd what you’d like to see more of.

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