Actor and Venture Capitalist Ashton Kutcher on Hollywood and Ai

Actor and Venture Capitalist Ashton Kutcher on Hollywood and Ai

Ashton Kutcher, a well-known actor and venture capitalist, has stirred significant debate within Hollywood with his statements about the future role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the movie industry. Kutcher’s comments, primarily centered around OpenAI’s generative video tool, Sora, have sparked both enthusiasm and backlash from various quarters of the entertainment industry.

Kutcher’s Vision for AI in Filmmaking

Kutcher has been vocal about his belief that AI, particularly tools like Sora, will revolutionize filmmaking by making it more efficient and cost-effective. He demonstrated this by sharing how he could render a video of an ultramarathoner running across a desert being chased by a sandstorm without hiring a CGI department, which he claimed highlighted the potential for significant cost savings in production (7).

During a conversation with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the Berggruen Institute, Kutcher elaborated on his vision, suggesting that AI could generate entire movies from scripts written by AI itself. “You can generate any footage that you want,” he said. “You can create good 10- to 15-second videos that look very real. It still makes mistakes. It still doesn’t quite understand physics. But if you look at the generation of this that existed one year ago as compared to Sora, it’s leaps and bounds. In fact, there’s footage in it that I would say you could easily use in a major motion picture or a television show” (8).

Kutcher further explained that using AI for establishing shots and action sequences could drastically cut costs. “Why would you go out and shoot an establishing shot of a house in a television show when you could just create the establishing shot for $100? To go out and shoot it would cost you thousands of dollars,” he noted. He also pointed out that AI could handle stunt scenes, potentially reducing the need for human stunt actors (7).

The Potential Impact on Content Creation

Kutcher’s vision extends beyond cost savings. He believes that AI will democratize filmmaking, allowing anyone to generate their own movies. “You’ll just come up with an idea for a movie, then it will write the script, then you’ll input the script into the video generator and it will generate the movie,” he said. This, according to Kutcher, would lead to an unprecedented proliferation of content (7).

However, Kutcher acknowledges the challenges this could bring. He predicts a future where the sheer volume of content created by AI will far exceed the capacity of audiences to consume it. “What’s going to happen is there is going to be more content than there are eyeballs on the planet to consume it. So any one piece of content is only going to be as valuable as you can get people to consume it. The bar is going to have to go way up, because why are you going to watch my movie when you could just watch your own movie?” he explained (8).

Backlash from the Industry

Despite Kutcher’s enthusiasm, his comments have not been well received by many in Hollywood. Critics argue that his vision could lead to job losses and a decline in the quality of creative work. The concerns are particularly acute among writers and actors, who fear that AI could replace their roles in the industry.

A significant portion of the backlash stems from the potential impact on jobs. “Imagine being Ashton Kutcher stepping onto a film set now, after coming out and advocating for all those crew people to lose their jobs and starve. Gutsy choice, bud,” tweeted one critic. Another added, “Not even AI could make a movie where Ashton Kutcher is a good actor” (9).

Critics also point to the ethical and legal ramifications of AI-generated content. Many worry about the use of AI to replicate actors’ likenesses or to create scripts without proper credit or compensation for the original creators. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) have both expressed concerns about how AI might be used to exploit creative talent without fair compensation (9).

Kutcher’s Response

In response to the backlash, Kutcher has attempted to clarify his position. He stated that he does not believe AI will replace the film industry or the creative arts but sees it as a tool to enhance efficiency and productivity. “I don’t think AI will replace the film industry or creative arts. It’s an amazing tool that we should learn to work with to become more prolific and efficient as artists,” he wrote on Twitter. He emphasized the need for the industry to adapt to technological advancements rather than resist them (7, 9).

Kutcher’s dual role as an actor and a venture capitalist, particularly with investments in AI startups, complicates his position. Critics argue that his financial interests in AI technologies might bias his views. Nonetheless, Kutcher remains steadfast in his belief that AI will play a crucial role in the future of filmmaking.

And Finally

Ashton Kutcher’s statements about AI and the movie business reflect a broader debate about the role of technology in creative industries. While Kutcher envisions a future where AI democratizes filmmaking and reduces production costs, many in Hollywood fear the potential job losses and ethical issues that could arise. The conversation around AI in the film industry is far from over, and as technology continues to evolve, so too will the discussions about its impact on the world of entertainment.

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