Sony CEO calls AI scary but says it can’t replace human creativity

The debate continues as to whether or not AI is scary or a natural continuing in technological advances…or both.

As the Writers Guild of America strike nears its second complete month, many continue to weigh in on the issues that pervade it, including the use of artificial intelligence in the writers room. And it’s not just writers and casual observers, but studio bigwigs. Now, Tom Rothman, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group chairman and CEO, is admitting that AI can be scary but may not be worth labeling a true threat.

Speaking with IndieWire on their Screen Talk podcast, Rothman said, “A lot of the panic about this is overwrought…I don’t believe that AI can replace creative genius.” Still, he admitted, “I believe AI is scary as shit. For a period of a time in my life, I was working on a movie with Steven Spielberg called Robopocalypse. Trust me, bad sh*t can happen. You seriously think a computer can’t figure out the nuclear codes?”

Ahead of the WGA strike, which started in May, the guild specifically cited the growing studio use of AI, saying that by “stonewalling on free work for screenwriters and on AI for all writers, they have closed the door on their labor force and opened the door to writing as an entirely freelance profession.” And while this usage of AI does indeed sound scary for the industry, some have put it to the test, with Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker finding serious holes in its ability to write a proper episode without sounding like, in his words, “sh*t.”

But it’s not just writers that artificial intelligence can potentially prove devastating to. Keanu Reeves also called AI scary, namely when it comes to deepfake technology, saying it causes the performer to “lose [their] agency” and perspectives. And if we can’t trust Keanu, who can we trust?

As the debate over artificial intelligence continues, one does wonder just what its future will be. Will the industry enact regulations on its use or let it run wild on movies and television?

Do you think AI has gotten too scary for the industry? Or is the conversation getting out of hand? Give us your thoughts on the topic in the comments section below!

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