(Los Angeles) The credits to Marvel’s Secret Invasion series were produced using artificial intelligence, its director has admitted: enough to fuel the controversy in Hollywood in the midst of a writers’ strike, worried about the devastating potential of AI for their industry.
The new series, available on the Disney platform, features spy Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson, fighting against a conspiracy fomented by the Skrulls, aliens capable of changing their appearance.
The credits are inspired by this theme by sketching the characters in the form of moving watercolors. This gives an unstable, sometimes disturbing character to the faces of the different protagonists.
This is what director Ali Selim wanted, who called on Method Studios, an AI company, to produce the credits sequence.
This imaginary coming “straight from the Skrull world, which changes shape” was part of the order “when we contacted the artificial intelligence company”, he explained in an interview published Wednesday by the specialized site Polygon. .
The filmmaker confessed to being fascinated by the AI’s ability to translate the sense of worry that runs through the series.
“We would talk to them about ideas and themes and words, and then the computer would kick in and do something. Then we could modify it a bit using words, and it would change,” he explained.
For him, this approach “seemed exploratory and inevitable, exciting and different”.
Statements that go badly in Hollywood, while the screenwriters have been on strike for almost two months. If the showdown with the studios revolves above all around salary issues, the future role of AI in the creative process is also an important point of the talks.
Several artists have denounced this experiment on social networks.
“I think the AI is unethical, dangerous, and designed only to take artists’ careers away,” tweeted Jeff Simpson, who worked on the series with the visual design team. “I really worry about the impacts this will have. »
Marvel’s process adds “salt to the wounds of all artists and writers involved in the strike,” said storyboard writer Jon Lam.
Negotiations between the studios and the WGA, the powerful writers’ union, are currently at a standstill. In particular, the organization wants to restrict the use of AI so that any output from a computer or robot cannot be considered “literary” or “source” material, key terms that imply the payment of royalties.
Requirements rejected by studios and platforms, which offer an annual meeting to “discuss the progress of technology”.