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If I was working in digital filmmaking right now, I’d be changing career paths.

This is something that’s straight out of sci-fi but is happening right now. Imagine a world where movies and TV shows are made entirely by AI. Sounds like Star Trek, right? Well, we’re getting there, and Meta’s at the forefront with its latest innovation, Emu Video.

This tech isn’t just any AI tool. It’s like the next evolution of Meta’s image generation tool, Emu, but now it’s bringing static images to life. Think about it: you give it a description or a photo, and bam! It spits out a four-second animated clip. And with Emu Edit, you can tweak these clips just by describing what you want. Want that dog to run in slow-mo? Done.

Now, I’ve seen some of these 512×512 resolution clips, and they’re mind-blowingly realistic. But here’s the kicker: Emu Video excels in creating artsy, non-realistic styles – think cubism or anime. It’s got a creative flair, like turning the Eiffel Tower at dawn into a stunning painting.

But, like all tech, it’s not perfect. Some clips have these weird quirks – like physics going haywire or objects appearing and disappearing randomly. And the characters? They don’t do much apart from looking pretty.

Despite these hiccups, the tech is already good enough to create basic B-roll for movies or TV shows. But here’s where it gets serious. As someone who works with startups and entrepreneurs, I’m thinking about the ethical side of things. This tech might just replace human artists and animators, and that’s a big concern.

We’ve seen Netflix dip its toes in this pool, using AI for background images in an animated short. And then there’s Marvel’s “Secret Invasion,” where AI played a big part in creating the credit sequence. This raises big questions about artists’ livelihoods and the future of creative work.

And actors? They might be next on the line as AI starts creating digital likenesses. This was a major issue in the recent SAG-AFTRA strike, where studios had to agree to pay actors for their AI-generated likenesses.

One thing that bugs me a little is how these AI models, like Emu Video, are trained. They use content made by real artists, often without their consent or compensation. Meta claims it’s using data from licensed partners, but that’s an issue of it’s own – as we don’t know whether those in the videos ever consented to this type of reuse. I can expect that we’ll see more Hollywood and actor strikes within the next year or two.

In the tech world, we often see innovation racing ahead of ethics. And with AI in filmmaking, it looks like we’re already there. While I might be a digital skills trainer and entrepreneurship mentor, I’m all for innovation, but not at the cost of ethical considerations.

This is more than just a tech advancement; it’s a conversation starter about the future of creative work and ethical AI use. And as someone passionate about the intersection of technology and entrepreneurship, I think it’s crucial we keep these discussions going. Let’s not lose the human touch in our rush towards the future.

Disclosure: Dante St James is a Meta-contracted Community Trainer. All opinions are his own and not reflective of those of Meta.