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Is AI the future of film? A look at OpenAI at NYC Tribeca Festival – NBC New York

New York City’s Tribeca Festival debuted five original short films using a new text-to-video platform by artificial intelligence, begging the question of where AI stands in the future of filmmaking.

Tribeca Festival is one of the largest spring film festivals hosting hundreds of screenings within 12 days, as well as discussion panels, speaker series and immersive experiences.

OpenAI granted five directors early access to Sora, a program that uses textual descriptions or prompts to generate short videos to match the characterization.

Michaela Ternasky-Holland is an award-winning virtual reality filmmaker and one of the chosen directors to create an AI-based short for this year’s festival, called “Thank You, Mom.”

This “SORA Short” is an autobiographical account of Ternasky-Holland’s experience growing up as the daughter of a widow navigating her grief journey. At least eight people, including animators, voiceover talent and a composer, were behind the three-minute production.

“I come from an emerging technology background, and putting a virtual reality head on somebody does not feel very human, but my goal as a creator is to make the content and the story feel very human and connected,” Ternasky-Holland told NBC New York during an interview at Onassis ONX Studio.

Ternasky-Holland notes that while Sora was the backbone of the production, other editing programs, like Adobe Premiere, were used to fine-tune the exact image.

She likens the use of AI technology to be similar to when traditional film transformed into digital productions or when analog editing switched to computers. The use of OpenAI could be a natural progression of where the film industry is heading.

“This is a continuation of what’s happening in the world. You can educate yourself and create your stance on it and also know that it’s not perfect. ‘Big Tech’ makes real humans think about where they stand and ethically with their data,” Ternasky-Holland said.

The theme of AI continued at the festival with a separate premiere of the documentary “How I Faked My Life with AI” directed by Kyle Vorbach, who used the latest tech tools to fabricate his own life online.

Vorbach poses the question of what defines a human connection if technology plays an active role in linking people together.

“If you have a computer that can generate art, and we’ve been generating art and telling stories for so long, we have to go, ‘What is the thing that is human? What is the thing that we’re making human?'” asked Vorbach during an interview.

Vorbach did not have a direct answer but an open-ended thought of if art is generated by AI, yet still elicits human emotion, would it make it any lesser? He says the next step using AI would be to create a narrative film and see what reaction people would have to the story.

After the controversial Hollywood stikes seen last year against the use of generative AI, NBC New York reached out to the Writers Guild of America East and the Directors Guild of America for comment on AI-created films at the Tribeca Festival. Neither of the unions responded.

NBC New York and Telemundo 47 are partners of the 2024 Tribeca Film Festival.

Originally Appeared Here

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