Scientists Are Using AI To Make Anime And This Will Be A Disaster

By Jason Collins | Published

With the massive world disasters, such as air and plastic pollution, global hunger, water scarcity, and deforestation for scientists to solve, university researchers in Canada spent their time and resources scraping a massive 42 million key frames of anime content to form a dataset, in hopes that it will help guide the future development of AI anime. Is nothing sacred anymore?

Using Existing Anime To Train Machines

The recently unveiled dataset, called Sakuga42M—due to 42 million keyframes that were taken solely from anime and cartoons—is the world’s first large-scale cartoon animation dataset, whose purpose is to pioneer improvements in AI-generated video, as well as video-to-text understanding, animation coloring, and inbetweening. However, as with all other AI-generated art, AI anime also sparks controversy among creators, with many calling it insulting and unethical, as it grants creative power to massive companies that will abuse it for profit.

Anime Industry Wants Japanese Government To Take Action

This means that AI anime, despite being an achievement in AI technology, poses a significant risk to the entire anime industry and could easily lead to its collapse, especially since there still aren’t any guidelines or rules surrounding the use of AI in general, not just for content creation.

This is particularly a problem for content coming from the Land of the Rising Sun, whose government is known for its weak AI stances and consistent approach to avoiding strict AI regulations—something many companies dealing in AI view as an attraction.

AI Can Be Used As A Force For Good

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Don’t get us wrong, AI is the technology of tomorrow, but as with all technology of tomorrow, it’s being misused today.

It has its bright sides; just recently, it helped researchers develop an antibiotic for a drug-resistant bacteria, it’s currently working on helping the blind see, and there are a ton of other applications where AI is being used as a force for good. But making AI anime is equivalent to electrically powered lawnmowers—electricity is useful, but it doesn’t really belong in gardening and landscaping to

Every Creative Industry Is Dealing With AI

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AI anime isn’t the sole case of artists and audiences collectively raising various valid questions and points regarding the use of AI in content creation.

The gaming industry is also having these issues; some companies are using AI to generate assets such as textures, while others unknowingly hire artists whose Duke Nukem has seven fingers on each hand—for whatever reason, AI is really bad at drawing hands. For example, if you’re going to resort to shortcuts for your textures, the very least you can do is steal them from actual, real artists, as Capcom did, and then show up for court (we’re not advocating for this).

Scarlett Johansson Is Leading The Charge

The AI anime dataset might not be bad if it’s ethically used for coloring and in-betweening. It can make the artists’ lives easier by simply painting their work frame-by-frame and connecting two keyframes to form an end product. However, without clear guidelines, rules, and regulations in place, the potential for misuse—fueled by the desire to increase profits—outweighs any ethical or quality concerns artists, audiences, and Scarlet Johansson might have.  

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