Streaming service Netflix used AI to create backgrounds in the short anime The Dog & The Boy due to a “labor shortage”. This caused a flurry of criticism on social networks.
Netflix アニメ ・ ・ ベース × 技術 開発 の rinna 株式 会社 × wit studio による プロジェクト アニメ 『犬 と 少年』 の。。。。。 ムービー ムービー ムービー
人手 不足 の アニメ 業界 を する 実験 的 な とし て 、 3 分間 の 映像 カット の 背景 画 に 画像 生成 技術 を！！！！ pic.twitter.com/GYuWONSqlJ
— Netflix Japan |ネットフリックス (@NetflixJP) January 31, 2023
“As an experiment to help the labor-starved anime industry, we used image generation technology for background illustrations in all three-minute videos,” Netflix Japan tweeted.
Subscribers expressed outrage at this decision. The company used AI to avoid paying artists, they said.
Waking up to see Netflix has started using AI to replace its background artists and can’t even be bothered to credit the people guiding it beyond being called “Human”, who even then can’t be bothered to fix it so it instead looks like garbage. https://t.co/R41cTO970j pic.twitter.com/JKN1HF2kLa
— Brian Harding | Commissions Open — Info 📌 (@BriHardGaming) February 1, 2023
According to press releasethe short was created by Tokyo-based Netflix Anime Creators Base in collaboration with AI company Rinna and Japan’s Wit Studio.
The trailer for The Dog & The Boy shows picturesque backdrops with cityscapes and mountain ranges.
At the end of the episode, a hand-drawn mock-up appears with “artificial intelligence + human” as the designer. The next two scenes show algorithm-generated images featuring Rinna engineers and Osaka University AI developers.
Demand for new anime productions has skyrocketed in recent years, but the industry has long suffered from a shortage of employees who will not settle for poor working conditions and low wages.
In 2017, illustrator Kazunori Mizuno, who participated in the creation of the anime “Naruto” and “Bleach”, died during work, presumably from overwork.
According to The New York Times for 2021, the salary of artists of the “lower ranks” was only $200 per month, the highest – $1400-3800 per month. At the same time, industry revenue reached a record high of $18.4 billion.
Recall that in January, a group of artists filed a class-action lawsuit against the developers of image generators because of the training of algorithms on their work.
In December 2022, the author of a book created with the help of AI faced a wave of criticism and death threats.
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