Disney is exploring opportunities for artificial intelligence (AI) with a newly launched task force, including cost savings for making movies.
Unnamed sources told Reuters that Disney recently the group and tasked it with determining how Disney and its segments can utilize the technology. It is also looking into collaborating startups, they said.
The entertainment giant apparently set the task force up before May.
FOX Business reached out to Disney for comment but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
One of Reuters’ sources argued AI could serve as one tool to help control the soaring costs of movie and television production. Meanwhile, another said that for its park business, AI could enhance customer support or create novel interactions.
CEO Bob Iger briefly talked about AI in May, voicing an overall bullishness.
“It’s pretty clear that AI developments represent some pretty interesting opportunities for us and some substantial benefits,” he told analysts and investors during the company’s second-quarter earnings call. “In fact, we’re already starting to use AI to create some efficiencies and ultimately to better serve consumers. Getting closer to the customer is something that is a real goal of ours, and we think that AI will provide some great opportunities to do that.”
The CEO, whose contract recently received a two-year extension, also said the technology was “going to be highly disruptive” and potentially “extremely difficult to manage,” particularly pertaining to intellectual property rights.
Disney has recently been looking to hire people for roles that involve AI or machine learning experience, with those job listings spanning many of its business segments. Some of the areas of the business they touch include Walt Disney Studios, its theme parks and engineering group, Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney-branded television and advertising.
In one listing for a R&D Imagineer Senior position, the company the person hired for the role would “generate concepts and build prototypes for new AI tools that will enhance Imagineers’ ability to create, design and deliver a variety of projects around the world.”
Other companies in the entertainment industry, such as Netflix and Sony, also have AI or machine learning-related job postings currently looking for applicants.
The increasingly hot field of AI has prompted some actors and writers to voice concerns about how it could affect their futures and the wider industry. Both groups have done so while engaging in recent strikes in Hollywood.
The Writers Guild of America has been striking for nearly 100 days.
Disney has its third-quarter financial results slated for release on Wednesday afternoon. The company’s stock, at roughly $88, has experienced an 18.5% drop in 12 months.
Reuters and Eric Revell contributed to this report.