Während the debate over generative AI continues, with artists mostly accusing firms of stealing their work to create derivative drivel, Netflix has emerged as the most hated source this week.
In a short anime film, a company used "AI-assisted" background art, which would not have been newsworthy in itself, but it did blame a "labor shortage" for the fact that they relied on AI to produce the film.
The Dog and Boy film, directed by Ryotaro Makihara, has been available on Netflix this week. It depicts a boy and his dog in a post-apocalyptic setting.
A Boy and His Dog is not a Harlan Ellison spin-off, although the way it is filmed would give the late author another reason to plunge into a legendary tirade.
The Dog and Boy film on Netflix Japan has a mention of "AI (+Human"), which suggests that artificial intelligence created the backgrounds.
Netflix is somewhat putting their foot in their mouths on Twitter, blaming a lack of employees for utilizing artificial intelligence.
"We used image generation technology for background images in all three-minute video cuts as an experiment to assist the anime industry, which is experiencing a labor shortage."
Thousands of artists and anime enthusiasts were enraged by the tweet, responding with a quote from Hayao Miyazaki, the inventor of Studio Ghibli animations, who said that artificial intelligence (AI) art is a "insult to life."
Others noted that there is no shortage of animators looking for work in a field that has tens of thousands of applicants and aspiring artists competing for a job.
Reece Alex Burton, a British artist, identified a problem with Netflix's use of AI-generated art, echoing many's concerns:
"Image generation technology? Say you stole artists' work through an AI gen and then claimed a labor shortage, even though people like me and my brother who have degrees can't get jobs because there's 500 other graduates who are also applying. Liars."
Another responder replied, "The anime world should be up in arms after being reduced a token "+ human" in credits. This is a slap in the face of a lifetime of labor and blood spent developing their craft".
The whole video can be seen here, but because YouTube has removed the dislike button, there is no way to know exactly how much disapproval Netflix Japan received for the film.
Nick Cave Insults Several Human Writers in Criticizing AI Lyrics Written by ChatGPT
Thoughts on Twitter are becoming increasingly divided, with artists calling for a ban on generative AI, while others claiming that AI might be just another tool in the artists' arsenal, one that might open the door to even more artists.
Also read: For the past few weeks, an AI-Generated Seinfeld show "Endless, Forever" has been running 24/7 on Twitch.