With new developments in generative artificial intelligence bringing the technology to the forefront of public conversation, concerns about how it will affect jobs in the entertainment industry have risen, even contributing in a writer strike in Hollywood. But, founders of Web3 animation studio Toonstar have been using artificial intelligence in their studio for years, and told Fox News Digital it serves as an aid in the creative process.
AI can "unlock creativity" and give animators a "head start" in terms of creativity, Luisa Huang, COO and co-founder of Toonstar told Fox News Digital. "But I have yet to see AI be able to put output anything … that is ready for production," she added.
"Ultimately, what AI is capable of doing is [synthesizing] the process to help you start as a reference point. AI is … an incredibly powerful tool. Because now, the starting point for creation just moved up," Huang said.
Writers nationwide are protesting as a part of the first Hollywood strike in 15 years. One person in Los Angeles holds up a sign that says "A.I. THIS SIGN WROTE." (David McNew)
John Attanasio, CEO and co-founder of Toonstar, said AI can "supercharge humans," eliminating routine activities and allowing them to spend time on "purely creative activities.
Attanasio and Huang have been putting use of AI into practice when it comes to their own work. Last week, the studio released Space Junk, the first series to use a fully AI-generated voice for an animated character.
"Thematically, it made a lot of sense for us, because it’s actually a character robot. … Why not have a robot voice a robot?" Attansio said.
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A movie poster for Toonstar's 'Space Junk' (Toonstar)
But, despite the company’s use of AI, they do believe the technology will fully replace humans in creating full-length feature films.
"There’s no button that you push and out pops Harry Potter," Attansio said. "Do we think an AI is going to be involved in the next Toy Story? Definitely. But we don’t think it will be without human contribution or human interaction."
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"Storytelling at the end of the day is going to require … a point of view," Huang added, equating using AI to create full-length films to shooting movies on an iPhone.
Anyone can film video on their iPhone, she said, but there is not a proliferation of feature films made with iPhones.
And while Attansio and Huang are optimistic about the use of artificial intelligence in a creative process, they also believe there should be some regulation around its use.
"We believe there need to be guardrails," Attansio said, particularly warning about creators’ work being used to train large language models.
The writers strike has created division within the industry over many topics, including AI. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP)
Similar concern about the use of AI has reached across the entertainment industry, where the Writers Guild is currently striking, in part, over the potential for generative AI to replace writers.
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"The WGA’s proposal to regulate use of material produced using artificial intelligence or similar technologies ensures the Companies can’t use AI to undermine writers’ working standards including compensation, residuals, separated rights and credits," the guild wrote in March.
Kelsey Koberg is an Editor with Fox News Digital.