HomeIndustries“Terminator” creator James Cameron says AI could replace him – but not...

“Terminator” creator James Cameron says AI could replace him – but not Schwarzenegger

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James Cameron, who imagined the evil Skynet artificial intelligence network in his 1984 film, says a sophisticated AI system could at some point do his job.

“If you’ve gotten a synthetic general intelligence (system) that has an ego, that has consciousness, who can say that it's not an artist?” The director, who also made the series, told the Financial Times. “We've been making art since we've been conscious, so why can't an AGI do this at this point – write a screenplay, direct a movie, whatever?”

His comments come amid sharp divisions over AI in Hollywood, where unions are attempting to guard jobs from the disruptive technology while studio bosses dream of the way it could save money and time.

The hand-wringing began in February when Open AI released a series of high-quality short videos created using its Sora text-to-video technology, stunning talent agents and filmmakers with its speed and slick imagery.

Cameron said the technology has potential but isn’t yet fully developed. “Everyone freaks out because you’ll be able to snap your fingers and take a cool picture,” he said. “But you’ll be able to’t make a movie out of it.”

However, the director said AI technology could eliminate a few of the mundane tasks of filmmaking, allowing directors to shoot more shots in less time. That pleases Cameron, who invested 13 years and an estimated $350 million into his last blockbuster: “The Movie,” which grossed $1.5 billion worldwide after its 2022 release.

“We spend loads to make loads,” he said in a Zoom interview from New Zealand, where he’s filming the third film. “To achieve success with a movie, you’ve gotten to make certainly one of the ten most successful movies in history. It's silly, but thus far it's working.” Cameron has three of the highest-grossing movies of all time.

The filmmaker has at all times been fascinated by science and technology. He piloted a submarine he designed to the Mariana Trench, the deepest place on earth. And he has spent many years working on the 3D film technology utilized in his movies.

He hopes Apple's Vision Pro headset will drive demand for his 3D technology, which he plans to license out to others within the industry. He has assembled a gaggle of partners to develop the business.

“I'm very enthusiastic about a possible renaissance of (3D) content and plan to make some moves on this area,” he said. “It might be a virtuous circle, or it might be a giant bust. Who the hell knows?”

One of Cameron's most inspiring casting decisions was hiring Arnold Schwarzenegger to play a cyborg. Although he’s open to the role of AI in filmmaking, he doesn't imagine machines could ever do what Schwarzenegger did – deliver a human performance.

“The machine might offer you a plausible performance, but it surely won't offer you the idiosyncratic moment of creation that an actor represents to him and his life experience,” Cameron said. “We are all generative AIs – we’re all giant data sets of each experience we’ve ever had. Generative AI can offer you a bitmap and a picture, but not emotions.”


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