Disney used four AI actors in a group shot in Prom Pact.
Don’t be alarmed when you see what look like Sims characters in the new Disney Channel teen movie Prom Pact; they’re only AI actors. According to Cord Cutters News, a screenshot from the new film has quickly gone viral on Twitter. The shot shows four computer-generated people sitting in bleachers amongst other real humans.
The opening scene of the Disney Channel movie is pretty normal, aside from the AI actors. It features a group of high school students watching a cheerleading performance in packed bleachers. The four AI actors stick out like a sore thumb amongst the rest of the human crowd, mostly due to their creepy, mindless stares.
The four AI actors in the bleachers may have been added in during post-production to fill a gap in the bleachers. It’s a quick fix for an awkward problem unless people notice. And with today’s tech-savvy teens, someone was bound to notice.
The rest of the Disney Channel film doesn’t seem to feature other AI actors. Instead, it stars Christopher Shyer, Milo Manheim, and Wendi McLendon-Covey who are all very real and very human. The teen movie follows a feminist who doesn’t think falling in love is a real thing, until she falls head over heels for the man of her dreams.
While Disney is creating AI actors to linger in the background, they can also use technology to alter an actor’s appearance. The company has an artificial intelligence system called FRAN to make actors look younger or older, based on the film’s needs.
In the real world, Disney just debuted an emotionally intelligent AI robot that looks like something out of a nightmare. The advanced robot will soon be appearing at Disney theme parks to bring more depth to characters’ personalities and to create an emotional connection with guests. We’re guessing the main emotion will be fear.
While AI can be downright horrifying, like this clip of “Will Smith” eating spaghetti, it can also be very useful in the film industry. When actors like Bruce Lee, Brandon Lee, Paul Walker, and Oliver Reed died during filming, artificial intelligence was able to bring their characters back to life to star in Gladiator, The Crow, Game of Death, and Furious 7.
While using AI in films can be controversial, Disney is used to being in hot water. From opposing Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law to a questionable song in The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, the company is facing all sorts of lawsuits and harsh criticism. As a result, Disney probably isn’t too worried about a few AI actors being spotted in their new teen film.
In one attempt to try and keep its positive image while staying “woke,” Disney has changed some song lyrics in The Little Mermaid remake. The film’s famous songs, “Kiss the Girl” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” are being rewritten by the dream team of Alan Menken (the original song composer) and the incredible lyricist Lin Manuel Miranda. While Disney’s use of AI actors may offend or frighten some, the company will likely continue pursuing the technology despite public outcry.