Hayao Miyazaki Calls AI-crafted Animation: “An Insult to Life Itself”

/ 5 years ago

Hayao Miyazaki

The legendary Hayao Miyazaki was not amused upon seeing AI-crafted animation calling it an “Insult to life itself”. The award-winning Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli fame, creator of such classic anime as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, was shown the video demo by Nobuo Kawakami, a producer-in-training at Studio Ghibli and also the head of the CGI team at Dwango Artificial Intelligence Laboratory demonstrating what they have been working on. In the video, a CGI human creature is “walking” as if the head is the feet although the creature is lying down. Kawakami suggests that this “creepy” movement can be used in a zombie or a similar scenario. This movement was generated by an artificial intelligence and the idea is for the computer to generate images that cannot be imagined by humans, thus effectively making it a disturbing image.

Miyazaki, whose movies have been full of emotion and deep character studies, unsurprisingly criticized the demo and said that he was “utterly disgusted” and that he would never incorporate this technology into his work at all. He also explained that since it is generated by a computer, the movements are not based on any knowledge of pain and thus ineffective in impacting the audience. Miyazaki himself has resisted using computers and 3D technology in animation, only announcing in 2015 his plans to produce a CGI short.

The Dwango Artificial Intelligence Laboratory themselves also has far reaching goals beyond computer animation. The group believes that advancements in AI have been hindered because of the limitations in its learning abilities and the fact that it is only fed information that humans know. They believe that for AI to truly advance and be advantageous for society, Artificial Intelligence must be able to learn and create on its own, including abstract human concepts under their “Whole-brain architecture” initiative.

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