Ashton Kutcher Pens Clarification After Viral Comments About AI: ‘Acting Like It Doesn’t Exist Will Be Catastrophic’

 Ashton Kutcher in New York City in Your Place Or Mine.
Ashton Kutcher in New York City in Your Place Or Mine.

Ashton Kutcher has been in the film industry since the late ‘90s known for the top stoner film Dude, Where’s My Car?, the rom-com Just Married, and one of the best time travel movies The Butterfly Effect. After voicing his opinions on how AI could positively shape the film industry, the internet didn’t exactly take those comments too well. The That ‘70s Show actor pens clarification with his beliefs that ignoring the use of AI would be “catastrophic.”

The 2023 WGA Writers Strike helped bring to light how AI could pose a threat to the film industry if screenwriters were replaced by artificial intelligence software. Even Hollywood actors are afraid of being digitally replicated with AI, while there have been issues of voice actors having their voices misused.

Ashton Kutcher, however, sees promise in the advanced technology to the chagrin of social media users. After facing backlash for his pro-AI comments, he decided to pen some clarification to his controversial statements.

The Start of Ashton Kutcher’s Viral AI Comments

While speaking with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt at Los Angeles’ Berggruen Salon, Variety reported that Ashton Kutcher sees OpenAI’s video tool, Sora, having a great impact on the future of filmmaking. He liked how the software could create short realistic videos that he felt would have great use in a movie or TV show. However, the What Happens in Vegas actor got backlash when he expressed this particular opinion on AI being cost-effective for the film industry:

Why would you go out and shoot an establishing shot of a house in a television show when you could just create the establishing shot for $100? To go out and shoot it would cost you thousands of dollars. Action scenes of me jumping off of this building, you don’t have to have a stunt person go do it, y​​ou could just go do it [with AI].

Many people on X (formerly known as Twitter) interpreted Ashton Kutcher’s comments as him encouraging jobs to be replaced by the advancements of AI technology. Here are some examples of the negative responses the former sitcom actor received:

  • Imagine being Ashton Kutcher stepping onto a film set now, after coming out and advocating for all those crew people to lose their jobs and f–king starve. Gutsy choice, bud- @jfiliatrault

  • [Guy who has never been in a good movie in his entire 25 year career] soon everyone can use AI to make good movies- @adamjohnsonCHI

  • As consumers and filmmakers we must reject this garbage.- @TheyCallMeDaymz

Ashton Kutcher’s Responses to the Backlash

Ashton Kutcher must have seen the backlash to his controversial AI comments as he took to X to provide some further clarification. According to the Two and a Half Men actor’s tweet, he described why ignoring the use of AI would be “catastrophic”:

I don't think AI will replace the film industry or creative arts. It's an amazing tool that we should learn to work with to become more prolific and efficient as artist. In the same way we use Avid, final draft, greenscreen, Led bg and other technical tools. Acting like it doesn't exist will be catastrophic. Jobs will change, denying that is turning a blind eye to facts. there use to be someone that taped the film together. there use to be someone that checked the gate. we need to be prepared and understand whats coming.

Based on Ashton Kutcher’s comments, it looks like he’s not giving a black-and-white answer on his feelings about AI. He appears to be aware that there could be big changes in the film industry once studios make use of the technology.

But as the Jobs actor said, the film industry has constantly been growing as many jobs throughout history have been replaced by technological advancements. And like what Disney CEO Bob Iger said about AI, the new technology would be used for the purpose of better storytelling compared to anything unsettling.

Many social media users weren’t happy when Ashton Kutcher got candid about the benefits AI could bring to the film industry. Nonetheless, he clarified that AI’s existence is not going anywhere and that this is just another advancement towards a growing business. Take a look at our 2024 movie releases so you’re updated on Kutcher’s upcoming projects.