Like many, I’m sure, I was quite intrigued to read about how the AI overlords have arrived to boost our creative projects with the introduction of DALL-E 2—an updated AI system from OpenAI that generates images from simple text descriptions.

However, the more I began to think about things, the more my excitement seemed to turn to worry.

Then, this week, I saw a great Twitter thread by visual artist and director Alan Resnick. It perfectly summed up my excitement/worry and has now led me to believe that DALL-E 2’s AI technology, while exciting, energizing, and indeed very cool—could also spell the end for filmmaking as we know it. 

The Future of General Intelligence AI Technology

So, as you can see in the thread above (as well as in our original write-up on this groundbreaking new tech here on No Film School), it’s hard not to get excited about this bold new world initially.

The thought of simply writing a short sentence, in your natural style and cadence, and allowing a computer program to create said sentence before your very eyes, is something straight out of science fiction.

Yet, unlike any other sci-fi future tech that I could think of, this one being real so soon is almost impossible to believe. Again, yet, here we find ourselves, reading about this tech online and watching some truly insane videos of the results like this one below.

How Can Filmmakers Use This Technology?

I’ll also admit that my first reaction to this news, before diving in deeper with some of these threads, was that while this might be a cool gimmick to mess around with, it also could be quite useful for certain filmmaking situations.

Say you’re working on a script for a short film, or perhaps you’re still only in the concept stage. Do you want to visualize some of these characters and scenes? Why not just click a button and let the AI create it for you?

You could also use this tech when working with clients as a way to avoid unnecessary labor. If your client wants to see a mock-up of a scene that they described, just click a button and send over a dozen examples. The possibilities seem to quickly become endless… which is where the problems may begin to arise.

Will Filmmakers Be Needed in the Future?

If DALL-E 2’s technology is truly as groundbreaking and revolutionary as advertised, either as it is now or in a future version, who’s to say that clients are going to need the help of filmmakers or video professionals in the future at all?

The same could potentially be even more true for graphic designers, 3D animators, and digital artists of any ilk.

As Resnick aptly puts it, “With general AI's ability to understand/create language, how long before you can just type in a vague pitch for a movie and it fully creates it from scratch?”

Will audiences still be able to tell the difference between something created by a filmmaker or artist that they admire, or will an AI-generated version of the concept work just as well? There's also something to say about copyright, as anything not created by a human isn't protected

To be fair these concerns are a bit more hypothetical than realistic at this point, but I’m personally glad to see that I’m not the only one who felt this way reading up on this news. Hopefully, these issues might not need to be addressed for some time.

And, even more, I hope audiences will always be able to tell the difference between the creative human brain and an AI machine. But who’s really to say? 

The real question might simply be how you feel about it. How do you—with your real, filmmaking human brain—feel about this news right now? 

Let us know in the comments!

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