Sony Boss Explains How The Studio Plans On Using AI And Why

 Sony Logo.
Sony Logo.

The future of artificial intelligence in cinema is something that has been a hot topic within the industry, especially recently. Hollywood just endured the 2023 WGA writers strike and SAG-AFTRA actors strike, where a big part of both fights involved calls for protection in the age of AI. Despite writers and actors claiming their victory over studios with a solid new contract, Sony’s boss just spoke out about how the major studio plans to implement AI in their filmmaking going forward. Let’s break it down:

Sony’s CEO Comments On Using AI

When Sony Pictures’ CEO Tony Vinciquerra appeared at an investor conference in Japan on Thursday (via IndieWire), he spoke about the studio’s agenda to implement AI. In his words:

We are very focused on AI. The biggest problem with making films today is the expense. We will be looking at ways to…produce both films for theaters and television in a more efficient way, using AI primarily.

In recent years, a lot of new AI tools have surfaced, and they are putting a slew of Hollywood jobs in jeopardy. Vinciquerra did mention the anti-contracts the studios have made thus far, saying this:

The agreements that came out of last year’s strikes and the agreements that come out of the IATSE and Teamsters [negotiations] will define roughly what we can do with AI.

While studios will need to stick to the negotiations made between writers, actors and so forth, Tony Vinciquerra’s comments go to show that AI is still set to have a place in the making of movies and TV shows in the future. While there are constraints on studios not implementing AI scripts or using actors' likenesses for their projects (the latter being right out of a Black Mirror episode), AI tools could be used to have smaller crews, animators, visual artists, concept artists, visual effect artists or other post-production workers.

Recent Instances Of AI In Movies

Movies About A.I.

Arnold Schwarzenegger seated on motorcycle in Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Arnold Schwarzenegger seated on motorcycle in Terminator 2: Judgement Day

5 Unnerving Movies About How A.I. Will Kill All Of Us One Day

Despite the victory of the strikes late last year, more concerns over AI in 2024 movies have arisen already. Earlier this month, numerous voice actors decided to file a lawsuit over their work being used in ways they have not consented to through AI likeness.

There have been a few other instances that have created waves of concerns from the public as well. For example, A24 was just under hot water for implementing AI technology to create posters for its movie Civil War. The acclaimed horror movie Late Night With The Devil was also boycotted by some for using AI in its production as well.

Between the Sony boss’ comments and recent instances of AI in new releases, it's clear that the strikes have not completely shut down the use of AI in Hollywood. If Sony wants to use AI to cut costs in its filmmaking processes, what is stopping other studios from finding their own loopholes to make projects in a less expensive way? We’ll keep you updated here on CinemaBlend as we learn more about how AI is being implemented in Hollywood.