HOLLYWOOD ACTORS AND THE RISE OF AI
In a Hollywood studio, under the glow of camera lights, 28-year-old actor T found himself in an unusual gig. This wasn’t a typical acting role for the public’s eyes; it was part of an “emotion study.” T’s voice, facial expressions, and movements were recorded, not for a movie or TV show, but to train artificial intelligence (AI) systems in understanding and expressing human emotions.
The project, conducted by the London-based emotion AI company Realeyes and partially funded by Meta (formerly Facebook), recruited actors for this unique task. The aim was to create a database of human emotions to enhance AI systems. These systems, in turn, could be used to develop “virtual avatars” for Meta and other applications.
The concern among actors, particularly background actors, is that AI technology could eventually replace their roles in the entertainment industry. Even if their exact faces aren’t copied, AI can learn from the expressions and movements of these actors to mimic human behaviour. This poses questions about the future of human actors in the industry.
As AI technology advances, it’s natural to see its potential in various fields, including entertainment. While AI can be a valuable tool in enhancing creativity and storytelling, it also raises ethical and economic questions about the livelihood of human actors.
In this evolving landscape, it remains to be seen how AI will be integrated into the entertainment industry and what role human actors will play. The intersection of art and technology is a complex and fascinating journey that will continue to unfold, and the balance between AI and human creativity will be a critical conversation in the years to come.