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A hot potato: Once again, a company has admitted to using AI for a piece of work, and once again, people are angry about it. On this occasion, it's the opening title sequence for the new Disney+ Marvel show Secret Invasion that has been generated by artificial intelligence. However, the studio behind it insists that using the tool didn't come at the cost of artists' jobs.
Polygon spoke to Secret Invasion director and executive producer Ali Selim, who confirmed that the show's trippy, morphing intro sequence was designed by Method Studios using artificial intelligence.
Selim admitted that he doesn't "really understand" how AI works, but says its use was very fitting within the context of the show. "When we reached out to the AI vendors, that was part of it – it just came right out of the shape-shifting, Skrull world identity, you know? Who did this? Who is this?" Selim said.
"Say AI again! I dare you!"
"We would talk to them about ideas and themes and words, and then the computer would go off and do something. And then we could change it a little bit by using words, and it would change," explained the director.
Selim might be a fan of AI, but, as we've seen many times before when generative tools are used this way, people aren't happy about its appearance. Complaints include the usual suspects, such as AI taking human jobs, the potential plagiarism issue arising from when these systems are trained on other work, and its use being little more than a money-saving scheme, but most people say the intro simply doesn't look good.
Addressing the jobs concern, Method Studios told The Hollywood Reporter that no jobs were replaced by incorporating the AI tools, which complemented and assisted the creative teams.
Looks like it was outsourced to Method Studios. I'm really concerned about the impacts of this.– Jeff Simpson (@jeffsimpsonkh) June 21, 2023
The company added that it used existing and custom AI tools in creating the characters' attributes and movements in the opening, but the entire production of the sequence involved traditional artists, animators, composers, and more.
"It is crucial to emphasize that while the AI component provided optimal results, AI is just one tool among the array of toolsets our artists used," Method Studios said in the statement.
The reveal comes at a time when Marvel is still facing criticism for the pressure it puts on VFX artists, so the use of AI isn't going to help the entertainment giant's image.
Despite the outcry over incidents like this, companies continue to use AI in various ways. The radio station that is using an artificial intelligence DJ is getting plenty of flak, and Myst's developers were slammed for using AI-generated content in their latest game.