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OpenAI’s Sora will allow us all to become filmmakers in the future — Ashton Kutcher says of the AI video model

The movie world has erupted into a storm of comment after actor, director and tech evangelist Ashton Kutcher was caught enthusiastically painting an AI dominated future for the industry, in a conversation with ex Google chairman Eric Schmidt. 

During a far reaching conversation Kutcher spoke of his experience using the beta version of OpenAI’s AI video generator Sora. “I’ve been playing around with Sora…and it’s pretty amazing,” he said. “There’s footage you could easily use in a major motion picture” today.

Kutcher then goes on to explain that the technology is moving in leaps and bounds, and while today the results are good, “fast forward to thirty times more performant, you’ll be able to render a whole movie.”

He even suggests that one day everyone will be able to make an entire motion picture from a simple text prompt — making all of us filmmakers. 

Hollywood wasn’t happy

(Image credit: Washed Out, Sora, Paul Trillo)

As you might expect, Hollywood is not amused. Various industry stalwarts, including Top Gun producer Jerry Bruckheimer, have slammed him for basically predicting the death of the movie making business. 

Kutcher isn’t the only filmmaker embracing generative AI. During Google’s recent I/O developer event Donald Glover was seen working with the Google DeepMind Veo model and five leading filmmakers will use Sora to make shorts for the Tribeca Film Festival — all of which will be unveiled next week.

The actor’s conversation with Schmidt took place at the Berggruen Institute in Los Angeles. They discussed a range of ways AI will impact the world and during the conversation he delivered a series of thoughtful and perceptive responses to the reality of AI on the ground, particularly in filmmaking.

Kutcher is not just some random screen idol, he is an active and involved technology investor, with his own venture capital fund and a string of investments from the past. So when he says something, it comes from a place of more knowledge than the average Joe (or screenwriter).

The dawn of AI cinema is coming

His uncompromising statements are based on a reality that the real shakers and movers in tech and media know to be true. In the same way that talkies destroyed the silent era, AI is very likely going to upend everything to do with the art of filmmaking.

Instead of watching a movie that somebody else came up with, I can just generate a movie and watch my own movie.

Ashton Kutcher

As Kutcher puts it, “instead of watching a movie that somebody else came up with, I can just generate a movie and watch my own movie.”

History shows that an industry saying it ain’t so, has never before stopped it ‘being so’, and so it is here.

The car industry is struggling with electrification, the music biz has its own AI tsunami to deal with, and now it’s time for film to face the future.

As O’Brien says in 1984, ‘there is learning, there is understanding and there is acceptance.’ It may be the right time for Hollywood to slide gracefully into the second stage.

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