Netflix Blames Labor Shortages By Revealing New Animated Short Film Made Using AI
Netflix has made a short film using AI for Japan. However, anime fans and anime artists are protesting the film, given how badly treated and underpaid actual anime artists are.
Illustrators around the world had expressed their anger against AI generators using their art and work to learn art and then plagiarizing it under the guise of generating art. One of the biggest concerns at the time was the commercial use of these AI tools.
A few months later, Netflix made the dystopian world a reality. On January 31, Netflix Japan’s official Twitter account unveiled an animated short, titled dog and the boyand proudly revealed that it was produced using AI-generated imagery.
However, things quickly turn sour. The video angered the anime community, both artists and consumers of the art form. It didn’t take long for the video to go viral, with more individuals criticizing the studio for adopting AI techniques when artists in the field were already struggling.
Reports have claimed that Netflix Japan revealed that Anime Creators Base, a Japan-based animation studio, used AI for a new short film in response to the industry’s alleged labor crisis.
Waking up to see that Netflix has started using AI to replace its background artists and can’t even bother to credit the people guiding it beyond the “Human” call, which even so can’t bother to fix it so it looks like garbage instead. https://t.co/R41cTO970j pic.twitter.com/JKN1HF2kLa
—Brian Harding | Open Commissions – News 📌 (@BriHardGaming) February 1, 2023
Year after year, the anime industry has grown exponentially as more people join various fandoms and the genre moves to new nations. However, within the sector, artists, supposed to be the backbone of the community, have suffered from poor working conditions and low wages.
dog and the boy tells the story of a small child who discovers a robot dog over the course of several years. They are separated by battle and ultimately reunited decades later. Although the premise appears to be dramatic, the art lacks emotional aspects that could move the story forward. Although this is a simple viewer’s point of view, the art itself is a different thing.
The video ends with Netflix digging deeper into how they created the background visuals using AI. While the base was built by artists, the AI tools simply reproduced a version of it, which had to be modified again by real artists. Worse still, Netflix did not recognize these artists as part of the team, calling the video “AI (+Human)” instead.
While Netflix Japan and Wit Studio (who co-hosted Spy x Family) were chastised for not acknowledging artists who used AI techniques, many others pointed out how misleading the tweet was. There is a shortage of cheap labor in the business, not a shortage of labor.
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