EES @ HITS 2024: How Will AI Impact the Evolution of Creatives’ Art?

As artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced technologies become easier to use and increasingly available, it remains to be seen how this will impact the true “creatives” and how their art will evolve.

On May 22, at the Entertainment Evolution Symposium (EES) at the Hollywood Innovation & Transformation Summit (HITS), during the EES @ HITS panel session “Creatives Approach to Accepting AI,” the viewpoints of artists, educators and practitioners were explored.

Introducing the panelists, moderator Carmi Zlotnik, president of television at Legendary Entertainment, said James Altucher is an artist, entrepreneur, investor, podcaster, technologist and writer, as well as a chess master who was part of the original team that programmed Deep Blue that eventually beat Gary Kasparov.” So Altucher is a “domain expert in many different areas,” said Zlotnik.

Matt Panousis, co-founder and chief operating officer of Monsters Aliens Robots Zombies (MARZ), meanwhile, is a “lawyer by training and an entrepreneur with a demonstrated history of success,” said Zlotnik.

Panousis also co-founded and scaled B2B technology startups, including ACTO,  an AI-powered learning platform in life sciences, Zlotnik pointed out.

Zlotnik asked Panousis what he saw as the main challenges of AI and how his company was navigating them.

Panousis had a “unique perspective because … we started our company in 2018 … but, by 2019, we were already looking to innovate along these lines and it was really driven by what we viewed as what the market was looking for,” he said.

“Everyone wanted VFX to still be beautiful, still high quality but people wanted things faster and they wanted things to be less expensive,” recalled Panousis. “And so, by 2019, we had already hired our first researcher and started to think about what VFX applications can we automate using artificial intelligence. And that predates the [generative] AI craze we’re in today, which certainly, even for us, who’ve been in this space, certainly caught us by surprise [with all] the advancements.”

At this point, he told attendees: “We still do VFX, and we still love VFX, but we’ve been doing AI product development now for quite a few years, and our first product was called Vanity AI, and it’s a digital makeup tool that saved VFX artists about 90 percent of the time they used to spend doing shots. And we did that on a number of Hollywood productions. I think we’re up to about 50 productions that we’ve used that tool on.”

His company’s second tool, which “we just got out of R&D after two years, is LiftUp AI, which is a lip-syncing platform that operates at Hollywood standards [and] basically allows an end user to feed in new audio and generate perfect lip-syncing,” he said.

In general with Gen AI, he added: “We continue to be amazed by what we’re seeing, and we just try and keep looking at trends and try and follow the trend lines.”

Also on the panel was Erlan Nyssanov of United Talent Agency’s Innovations and Web3 teams, and Kartik Hosanagar, the John C. Hower Professor of Technology and Digital Business and a marketing professor at the Wharton School, as well as CEO and founder of AI company Jumpcut Media.

To view the presentation, click here.

HITS Spring was presented by Box, with sponsorship by Fortinet, SHIB, AMD, Brightspot, Grant Thornton, MicroStrategy, the Trusted Partner Network, the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA) and EIDR, and was produced by MESA in partnership with the Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business.