Event Report: Exploring AI’s impact on storytelling
CEPI organised a panel during the Business programme of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival that shed light on the anxieties and possibilities surrounding the ongoing AI revolution in the entertainment industry. The event, moderated by Mathilde Fiquet, CEPI Secretary General, emphasized the need for open discussions while acknowledging that definitive answers are yet to be found.
Frank Spotnitz, renowned writer and former showrunner of "The X-Files", expressed the prevalent fear among writers and directors at the prospect of AI being used to generate scripts or play a big role in the production of TV series. He emphasized that being against AI at this stage would be “pointless”, comparing it to “being against automobiles or airplanes or the internet”. Spotnitz also raised concerns about AI's potential to replace human costs with algorithmic outputs. He advocated for regulations that strike a balance between protecting creators' rights and preserving the moral and ethical values inherent in storytelling.
While Spotnitz acknowledged the possibility of AI-generated content dominating mass entertainment, he assured that human-created content would always have its place. He drew parallels with the fine arts, where human touch holds an irreplaceable allure. Spotnitz cited films like "Lawrence of Arabia" as examples of the authenticity and impact achieved through traditional craftsmanship.
Leif Holst Jensen, Dean of TV & Games at Norway's Innland University of Applied Sciences, maintained an optimistic perspective. Despite acknowledging AI's potential for job displacement, Jensen argued that the industry's high costs necessitate exploring new content creation models. He believed AI could revolutionize the industry by combining AI-generated scripts, actors, and voices.
Patrick Aryee, a TV presenter and filmmaker from Abstract Pictures, emphasized the opportunities presented by AI. He highlighted AI tools like ChatGPT as valuable aids for content creators, offering consistency and providing content skeletons that creators can infuse with their creativity.
Overall, the discussions at the Monte Carlo Television Festival underscored the need for careful navigation of the AI revolution in entertainment. While fears and uncertainties persist, there is recognition of AI's potential to enhance creativity and innovation. Striking a balance between legal protections, ethical considerations, and the preservation of human touch is crucial. By embracing the possibilities AI offers and fostering collaborative relationships between AI and human creators, the entertainment industry can navigate these uncharted waters and shape a future that leverages the best of both worlds, for AI assisted creativity rather than AI controlled creation.