Software Marches On: Should Actors Be Worried?

August 25, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_tNote: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

How AI Is Bringing Film Stars Back from the Dead” is going to raise hackles of some professionals in Hollywood. I wonder how many people alive today remember James Dean. Car enthusiasts may know about his driving skills, but not too much about his dramaturgical abilities. I must confess that I know zippo about Jimmy other than he was a driver prone to miscalculations.

8 20 angry writer

An angry human actor — recycled and improved by smart software — snarls, “I didn’t go to acting school to be replaced by software. I have a craft, and it deserves respect.” MidJourney, I only had to describe what I wanted one time. Keep on improving or recursing or whatever it is you do.

The Beeb reports:

The digital cloning of Dean also represents a significant shift in what is possible. Not only will his AI avatar be able to play a flat-screen role in Back to Eden and a series of subsequent films, but also to engage with audiences in interactive platforms including augmented reality, virtual reality and gaming. The technology goes far beyond passive digital reconstruction or deepfake technology that overlays one person’s face over someone else’s body. It raises the prospect of actors – or anyone else for that matter – achieving a kind of immortality that would have been otherwise impossible, with careers that go on long after their lives have ended.

The write up does not reference the IBM study suggesting that 40 percent of workers will require reskilling. I am not sure that a reskilled actor will be able to do. I polled my team and it came up with some Hollywood possibilities:

  1. Become an AI adept with a mastery of python, Java, and C. Code software replacing studio executives with a product called DorkMBA
  2. Channel the anger into a co-ed game of baseball and discuss enthusiastically with the umpire corrective lenses
  3. Start an anger management podcast and, like a certain Stanford professor, admit the indiscretions of one’s childhood
  4. Use MidJourney and ChatGPT to write a manga for Amazon
  5. Become a street person.

I am not sure these ideas will be acceptable to those annoyed by the BBC write up. I want to point out that smart software can do some interesting things. My hunch is that software can do endless versions of classic hits with old-time stars quickly and more economically than humanoid involved professionals.

I am not Bogarting you.

Stephen E Arnold, August 25, 2023


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta