As AI generated videos gradually improve, sense of crisis for filmmakers aroused: 'The Wandering Earth' director
Published: Jul 06, 2023 11:11 PM
AI Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

AI-Generated Content (AIGC) is greatly affecting the film industry, and as AI generated videos have been gradually improving, it's is arousing a sense of crisis in the industry and among film artists, said director of China's all-time highest-grossing sci-fi epic "The Wandering Earth," who joked that AI should be treated with more respect so it "leaves a way out."

Speaking at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai on Thursday, Guo joked that from now on, he needs to treat AI better, as AI has now taken over the job of aging or making actors look younger on screen, and modifying their voices.

AIGC has a great influence in many sectors, whether it's about making videos or pictures, said Guo, noting that although precision of those AI-generated videos pale in comparison with films, it will reach the film level in near future. "From now on, I have to say 'please' to AI before using it and 'thank you' after using it … Treating it with respect so to leave a way out for myself."

Moreover, in designing the conceptual graphs of sci-fi movies, Midjourney is doing an excellent job as a scene which can take a week for an experienced designer to finish, Midjourney can produce massive amount of such pictures overnight, said Guo. What's more, the human-designed picture cannot compete with AI-generated pictures in the eyes of directors.

Zhang Yaqin, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and president of the Institute for AI Industry Research (AIR), Tsinghua University said at the same forum with Guo that although AI is developing fast in generating pictures and videos, there's no need to feel anxious about its growth.

"AIGC is just a tool. Real imagination, creativity and ideas are generated by writers and directors, also actors. Those are things that AIGC cannot do," said Zhang. He encouraged directors to think more of how to utilize AI as a tool.

Guo cares about the development of AI. During a keynote speech last month, he called on authorities to establish a new department in drawing the lines and regulations of AI. He also mentioned that his team is learning the application of AI, and hopefully to adopt those technologies in their creation.

Growing AIGC has also sparked discussion of how to infuse the technology with film-making in the industry.

During a forum held in Jiangsu last week, Yin Li, deputy head of China Film Directors' Club said that the newly-emerged technology, such as metaverse, blockchain and AI will bring unimaginable space for film-making. "Technology is like wings to film. However, Hollywood blockbusters don't always have young people running after. Instead, China's domestically made films always top the box office. So no matter how technologies serve wings of film, record our lives, express feelings of ordinary people is the strong life force of film, and an unshakable responsibility for filmmakers."