Disney recruits AI to find cost savings

Disney’s cost-saving AI plays

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The Future. While AI has recently become a focal point of the writers and actors strikes, Disney has been experimenting with the tech for years. Now, it’s doubling down on developing a system that could be used across the company. Though the purveying wisdom across Hollywood is it’s too early to see what impact AI could have on making movies and shows, Disney may have a pretty good understanding of how it hopes to integrate the tech into its operations.

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According to Reuters, Disney formed a “task force” earlier this year to see how AI can be used at the Mouse House.

  • It’s developing in-house AI systems and looking to partner with third-party companies.
  • Currently, 11 AI-focused job positions are open for applications (just like at several other major entertainment companies).
  • A Disney insider said the company hopes to use AI to optimize spending, especially as recent blockbuster budgets have swelled up to $300 million.

As it turns out, Disney is no stranger to AI. It used AI to help de-age Harrison Ford for the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, used machine learning to create a free-roaming Baby Groot robot at Disney World, and had an AI-powered cabin droid at the now-defunct Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser hotel.

Additionally, Disney Research (which is based out of Switzerland) has been working for a decade on “digital humans” that are allegedly “indistinguishable” from real people when plugged into media. Disney says the tech is only meant to “augment” digital effects… but it’s easy to see why that development would be alarming to flesh-and-blood actors.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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