Walt Disney has created a task force to study artificial intelligence and how it can be applied across the entertainment company’s business, at a time when Hollywood actors object to the use of modern technology in the industry.
Three sources told Reuters that the group’s new venture, launched earlier this year before the Hollywood workers’ strike, is looking to develop AI applications in-house, as well as forming partnerships with new startups.
Disney has 11 current job openings looking for candidates with artificial intelligence or machine learning experience.
Works are centered on nearly every corner of the company, from the Walt Disney Studios to the company’s parks and engineering group to the Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney-branded television and advertising team, which is looking to build the “next generation” of artificial intelligence, Sponsored Ad System, based on company job postings.
One source said legacy media companies such as Disney should consider investing in artificial intelligence or risk being “disappeared”.
This proponent sees AI as a tool that could help control the soaring costs of film and television production, which could balloon to $300 million for a blockbuster release like “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” or “The Little Mermaid.” Budgets like these require huge returns at the box office simply for companies to start turning a profit. The person said that the process of reducing costs will materialize over time.
For its theme park business, the AI could augment customer support or create new interactions, the second source said.
The source pointed to Project Kiwi, which used machine learning techniques to create Baby Groot, a small, free-roaming robot that mimics the movements and characters from Guardians of the Galaxy.
Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence that gives computers the ability to learn without being programmed, and informs their vision systems, so that they are able to recognize objects and navigate.