Ashton Kutcher says Hollywood's 'bar is going to have to go way up' in the age of AI

The "That '70s Show" actor predicted that soon enough, "instead of watching some movie that somebody else came up with, I can just generate and then watch my own movie."

Ashton Kutcher is siding with the robots in the great battle between artistry and artificial intelligence.

During a recent conversation with Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the Berggruen Salon in Los Angeles, the That '70s Show actor revealed that he's been testing out the beta version of OpenAI's generative video tool Sora and considers its footage already good enough for use in film and television.

"You can generate any footage that you want. You can create good 10-, 15-second videos that look very real," Kutcher said. "It still makes mistakes. It still doesn't quite understand physics. It still has some bobbling, but if you look at the generation of this that existed one year ago, as compared to Sora, it's leaps and bounds. In fact, there's footage in it that I would say you could easily use in a major motion picture or a television show."

<p>Albert L. Ortega/Getty </p> Ashton Kutcher

Albert L. Ortega/Getty

Ashton Kutcher

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Kutcher added that AI represents an efficient way to cut down on production costs because there's quite literally no one to pay.

"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," he remarked. "Action scenes of me jumping off of this building, you don't have to have a stunt person go do it — you could just go do it [with AI]."

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Offering another example, Kutcher said he used the application to create a short video of a person fleeing from a sandstorm. "I didn't have to hire a CGI department to do it," he noted. "I, in five minutes, rendered a video of an ultramarathoner running across the desert being chased by a sandstorm. And it looks exactly like that."

Throw Nvidia's newest processor into the mix — which reportedly can perform 30 times better than what's currently available — and Kutcher says that AI will only get better and better.

Related: Late Night With the Devil directors and star respond to criticism over film's use of AI

"You'll be able to render a whole movie. You’ll just come up with an idea for a movie, then it will write the script, then you'll input the script into the video generator and it will generate the movie," he said. "Instead of watching some movie that somebody else came up with, I can just generate and then watch my own movie."

A constant stream of content catered entirely to one's own vision and interests, Kutcher predicted, will force Hollywood to either to raise the bar on its projects or risk falling by the wayside.

"What's going to happen is there is going to be more content than there are eyeballs on the planet to consume it. So any one piece of content is only going to be as valuable as you can get people to consume it," he said. "Thus, the catalyzing 'water cooler' version of something being good, the bar is going to have to go way up, because why are you going to watch my movie when you could just watch your own movie?"

The role of AI technology has emerged as a hot-button issue in Hollywood, and became a sticking point in last year's strikes by writers and actors.

Watch Kutcher discuss AI and the future of filmmaking in the video above.

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