Ashton Kutcher AI Movies Controversy Sparks After Remarks

By Jason Collins | Published

Apart from fighting the studios for bigger salaries and streamers for royalties, one of the reasons why actors joined the Writers Guild of America’s strike is the use of AI technologies to mimic an actor’s likeness—without their permission.

Truly, AI (along with machine learning) is introducing Industry 4.0, and not everything in this introduction is for the best. But Ashton Kutcher seems to think that AI movies are the future of Hollywood.  

Ashton Kutcher Embraces AI Filmmaking

In his recent conversations with Eric Schmidt, the former Google CEO, Ashton Kutcher revealed that he toyed around with the beta version of Sora, OpenAI’s generative AI movie tool that has sent ripples throughout the movie industry following its unveiling in February this year. Kutcher added that the video generated by Sora looks very realistic and that, despite the tool still making mistakes, it’s a massive improvement over any other video-generative AI that has been released in the past year.

Kutcher Embraces Everything SAG Fought Against

ashton kutcher

Ashton Kutcher then went on to explain how AI movies generated by Sora could make filmmaking significantly cheaper by comparing the filming of an establishing shot that costs thousands of dollars to one created by AI for less than $100. He also applied the same principle to action sequences, in which the actor’s likeness could be used by an AI—the very thing his colleagues fought the industry against—to create scenes that would otherwise require stunt work as if stunt people don’t need work or money.

If You Squint, There Is A Silver Lining

However, Ashton Kutcher might be onto something here. Despite shaking the entire industry to its core and probably toppling it down in the future, the ability to generate AI movies will most certainly also bring about a loss of quality of the generated content.

With the ability to create movies at speed, creators are bound to oversaturate the market. As a result, only the content that’s truly valuable and of the highest quality will reach the eyeballs of many. But one has to wonder: how will that content stand out in the vast ocean of human-made AI-generated trash?

Unregulated AI Could Be Destructive

mila kunis ashton kutcher

On the other hand, AI movie generation threatens to revolutionize the industry up to a point at which a vast majority of people, such as Ashton Kutcher, lose their employment as massive studios continue to cut costs in order to maximize profits.

This only sheds more light on the real issue at hand: the unregulated development and use of AI technologies that ultimately don’t benefit humanity but the companies that are able to pay for the use of such technologies.

Only The Start Of The Damage AI Can Cause

ashton kutcher

It would seem that Elon Musk is right when it comes to AI: things are moving too fast for comfort. We already saw the fake Obama public announcement made using AI movie technologies; teenagers are using AI to ruin each other’s lives by sharing fake photos and videos, and we now have tools that caused Tyler Perry to halt an $800 million studio expansion.

So, while Ashton Kutcher’s enthusiasm about AI movies is justified and reasonable—it’s really a fantastic technology—we’re still lightyears away from really ethical implementations.