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Ashton Kutcher Argues That AI Use Is Efficient for Filmmaking

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Ashton Kutcher.
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When it comes to AI vs. the artist, Ashton Kutcher is stands behind technology.

During a recent conversation with Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the Berggruen Salon in Los Angeles, Kutcher, 46, revealed that he has been testing a beta version of OpenAI’s generative video tool Sora — and thinks it’s a step in the right direction for filmmaking.

“You can generate any footage that you want (with AI). You can create good 10-, 15-second videos that look very real,” he said, per Entertainment Weekly. “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.”

Kutcher argued that the use of AI will cut down production costs for the TV and film industry because there won’t be any salaries to pay.

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“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 continued. “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).”

The actor added that the newer tech will be even more advanced, eventually allowing audiences to “render a whole movie” themselves.

“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.”

Ashton Kutcher Argues That AI Use Is Efficient in Filmmaking You Can Make a Whole Movie
Noam Galai/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

Kutcher claimed that those still using the traditional way of filmmaking will inevitably have to up their game in order to compete with the latest AI.

“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?”

Kutcher’s remarks about artificial intelligence quickly received pushback from people online. Former Rick and Morty writer Caitie Delaney blasted the That ‘70s Show alum for snubbing below-the-line workers and “cannibalizing your own industry because you played Steve Jobs in an inferior movie and think you’re a tech genius now.”

She continued, “When you take ANY humans off of a collaborative and creative pursuit you literally lose the humanity. A hollow, dumbass, pointless shell. TV will have the same artistic merit as dish soap.”

Screenwriter J Filiatraut also took aim at Kutcher, writing, “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 fucking starve. Gutsy choice, bud.”

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Writer Steve Rudzinski called it a “weird take,” sharing that he could “watch my own movie right now via making my own movies, but I still watch other movies.” Brett Nicholson added, “I’d rather render a whole different Ashton Kutcher.”

Kutcher’s commentary comes on the heels of the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike, where the union fought for AI restrictions, among other protections. One of their most important demands was that a studio must get permission from actors before using elements of their likeness. It was also a concern for the WGA, during its simultaneous strike. Both unions ultimately received AI restrictions in their new contracts when reaching a deal with the AMPTP.

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