Job-Killing AI: Dreamworks’ Katzenberg Says Artificial Intelligence Will Replace 90% Of the Human Artists Needed to Make an Animation Movie

Is AI turning a generation of tech-addicted visual artists into Luddites?

On the one hand, long gone are the days where animators would be working ink-on-paper to produce frame after frame on an animation movie.

The digital revolution has long-impacted the making of animation. However, we may be about to see the digital transformation of this art form accelerate by a factor of 10 – according to one of the most qualified voices in the industry.

DreamWorks founder Jeffrey Katzenberg has predicted that generative artificial intelligence ‘will cut the cost of animated films by 90 percent’, that means: the ‘human cost’.

The new technology is set disrupt the media and entertainment sector like no other.

According to the Hollywood Reporter:

“’If you look at sort of a historical perspective of when we went from a pen, a paintbrush, a printing press, a still camera, a movie camera; these are things that just expanded creativity and all sorts of storytelling in extraordinary ways, and we’ve seen how that has continued to evolve’, Katzenberg said. ‘It’s been explosive over the last 10 years. I think if you look at how media has been impacted in the last 10 years by the introduction of digital technology, what will happen in the next 10 years will be 10 times as great, literally, by a factor greater’.

Indeed, Katzenberg said that ‘I don’t know of an industry that will be more impacted than any aspect of media and entertainment and creation’.”

He says that this will ‘dramatically’ lower the costs for animated films, predicting they could fall by as much as 90 percent. Once again – the economy will come from much lower animations teams.

“’I think that on the one hand, it will be disruptive and commoditize things that are very inaccessible for artists and storytellers today’, He said. ‘In the good old days when I made an animated movie, it took 500 artists five years to make a world-class animated movie. I think it won’t take 10 percent of that. Literally, I don’t think it will take 10 percent of that three years out from now’.”

The executive reminds us that the ideas for those projects will not come from AI, he added, but from individual creativity. He also think animators will fully embrace this new AI tech. But will they, really? If the recent Hollywood writers strike is any indication, it may not be so clear-cut.

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