AI Is Already Ruining Classic Movies Possibly Forever

By Douglas Helm | Published

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Technology marches ever forward, and artificial intelligence and its effects on various industries continue to be the hot-button topic of the moment. One industry that specifically has been dealing with a lot of controversy around AI is the entertainment industry, with plenty of people wanting the tech to leave movies and TV shows alone. Artificial intelligence may be ruining classic movie restorations next.

AI Upscaling Is Ruining Classic Cinema

While there are some great restoration companies out there that lovingly bring old and classic movies to modern 4K standards, it’s not surprising to see that AI is starting to get a foothold in the business of restoring movies. Of course, the upside is that artificial intelligence can presumably upscale these films in a fraction of the time that it would usually take, but the tech is also far from perfect, and recent clips of AI-enhanced 4K restorations of Aliens and True Lies prove it.

Movie fans lately have pointed out some of these issues, such as the fact that artificial intelligence-altered clips have some glaring issues like distortions, lines on the faces of the actors, veins added to some shots, issues with focus, and trouble rendering hair properly.

Proper Restorations Look Amazing But AI Cuts Corners

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Aliens and True Lies are some of James Cameron’s most beloved films, and seeing them properly restored in 4K UHD is something every fan can appreciate. But if corners are cut using AI to bring these movies to the modern age, then most fans would probably prefer to just watch the original quality versions. The weird artificial intelligence touches are hard to miss once you start watching for them, and it would definitely take away from the experience of watching the movie.

The Threat Of Multiple Poorly Remastered Films

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The big problem is that many people may not notice or care about the AI inconsistencies in the restorations of these movies, and if not enough people complain, then it could quickly become a standard for movie restoration. For one, it’s undoubtedly much cheaper to restore films with artificial intelligence, and once studios see that bottom line, they may start pumping out poorly restored versions of tons of classic films. This definitely shouldn’t be the new standard for film restoration, and hopefully, people will speak up about it.

Restoration Companies Usually Include Other Goodies

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Of course, AI has already advanced a lot in just the last year alone, and it’ll undoubtedly be able to restore movies serviceably in the future. But this brings up another downside of artificial intelligence, which is that it’ll displace the jobs of people who put a lot of love into restorations and cause some of the best restoration companies to close down.

These restoration companies also tend to do a lot more than merely upscaling the film, as they include plenty of extras and goodies for fans, like bonus features, unique cover art, steel bookcases, and more.

Hopefully Will Supplement And Not Replace Creatives

It’s hard to imagine that studios pumping out AI restorations of movies would take the time and care to include all of these little touches for fans. Overall, artificial intelligence will continue to be hugely controversial in all entertainment areas. Hopefully, it will be used to benefit artists and creatives rather than make cheap products and worse TV and films.