Keisuke Iwata is one of the most respected people in the anime industry, serving as the president of the Japanese anime channel, AT-X. He has also served as the producer for countless anime, including Pokemon and The Prince of Tennis. He recently held a lecture at the Digital Hollywood University in Tokyo where he talked about Artificial Intelligence and anime.
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In his lecture, he said that Artificial Intelligence can be used in anime production. In fact, he said that one day, AI may replace human animators. He admitted that while human creativity is needed in anime production, advances in AI technology can change the outlook in the future. AI programs now also use “Deep Learning”, a branch of machine learning based on algorithms that model abstract data. These programs have already created artworks which seem like humans were the ones who did them.
One such example is the “The Next Rembrandt” AI project. Microsoft and ING collaborated in this Artificial Intelligence project, which had AI analyze 346 Rembrandt paintings. The AI program then created its own artwork using the legendary painter’s art style. The result is this:
Iwata the said that he believes that AI will soon compete with humans in terms of creativity. And with AI like the “the Next Rembrandt”, this may come sooner than many expected. The former producer also said that AI may soon be able to do other functions in animating. This means that AI may also do character design, storyboards, art design, backgrounds, sound production, and color setting very soon. This may also mean that animators better shape up, or they’ll lose their jobs to computers soon!
However, there will be very strong opposition to this. The legendary Hayao Miyazaki himself has made his opposition to AI animators known. The Academy Award-winning director previously called an AI-made CG animation as “an insult to life itself.”
The great director is definitely not shy about his opinions! He once stated that he does not think that hand-drawn animation is better that CG animation, and says that he believes the former is dying out because current animators are not as talented.
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Source: IT Media