The next time you sit down to watch a movie, the algorithm behind your streaming service might recommend a blockbuster that was written by AI, performed by robots, and animated and rendered by a deep learning algorithm. An AI algorithm may have even read the script and suggested the studio buy the rights.

It’s easy to think that technology like algorithms and robots will make the film industry go the way of the factory worker and the customer service rep, and argue that artistic filmmaking is in its death throes. For the film industry, the same narrative doesn’t apply — artificial intelligence seems to have enhanced Hollywood’s creativity, not squelched it.

It’s true that some jobs and tasks are being rendered obsolete now that computers can do them better. The job requirements for a visual effects artist are no longer owning a beret and being good at painting backdrops; the industry now calls for engineers who are good at training deep learning algorithms to do the mundane work, like manually smoothing out an effect or making a digital character look realistic.

In doing so, the creative artists who still work in the industry can spend less time hunched over a computer meticulously editing frame-by-frame and go do more interesting things, explains Darren Hendler, who heads Digital Domain’s Digital Humans Group. Just like computers made it so animators didn’t have to draw every frame by hand, advanced algorithms can automatically render advanced visual effects.

In both cases, the animator didn’t lose their job. “We find that a lot of the more manual, mundane jobs become easy targets [for AI automation] where we can have a system that can do that much, much quicker, freeing up those people to do more creative tasks,” Hendler tells Futurism. Read more from…

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