[Fox News] ‘Elvis’ director says Hollywood ‘s AI regulation is ‘way behind’

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“Elvis” director Baz Luhrmann is not afraid of artificial intelligence so much as he worries about the lack of regulation over the technology.

In an interview with Sky News, Luhrmann admitted he was not “personally frightened of AI, but having worked with a very, very smart robot named Ai-Da, and having formed a relationship with her, she would tell you, and I would agree, we are way behind in terms of governance of AI.”

Earlier this year, Luhrmann partnered with Bombay Sapphire on its “Saw This Made This” campaign, which used an AI robot artist, named Ai-Da, to create art pieces live at exhibitions in London and New York inspired by submissions from human creators. 

Luhrmann also praised the writers and actors strikes that took place over the summer and fall, with the use of AI being a major issue in negotiations.

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“And what was fought for in terms of the unions in our world was exactly right when it comes to AI, absolutely,” the “Moulin Rouge” director said. 

He continued, “I think we need to play catch up in all fields in proper governance and understanding of AI for sure.” 

“I don’t want in any way to be mischaracterized, it’s just that when it comes to my own creative journey and AI, it can be useful to do certain things. One thing AI can’t really do is be imperfect and that is what art really is,” he added.

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The Australian-born writer/director also spoke with Forbes in May during the early days of the writers’ strike about working with AI.

“What AI can probably do in writing is give you a standard structure or a form, but real creativity, the human part, the emotional part, that part that is somewhat indefinable that’s not mechanical, I think at best, or at worst, it can save you time just by organizing things,” he said.

He gave an example of asking AI to do “King Lear” in his own style, “It’s still going to just be a facsimile of something. It isn’t going to be totally human and totally original. And I hope, it’s gotta governed, I’m not saying there aren’t pitfalls, we should absolutely be concerned about AI, no question. We should absolutely be looking at changes in our mechanics.” 

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The WGA strike ended in September, with some regulations in place over AI’s use in Hollywood.

According to WGA’s website, “AI can’t write or rewrite literary material, and AI-generated material will not be considered source material under the MBA, meaning that AI-generated material can’t be used to undermine a writer’s credit or separated rights.”

With that being said, a writer can opt to use AI in their work if their company consents and the writer follows company policy.

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“The company can’t require the writer to use AI software (e.g., ChatGPT) when performing writing services,” a summary of the updated contract explains.

The SAG-AFTRA strike ended in early November, and earlier this week, the union ratified the strike-ending contract.

According to a summary of the contract on the union’s website, employers must obtain “clear and conspicuous” consent from performers before creating “digital replicas” of them for a project, and pay them for the time they would have otherwise worked in person.

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