Adding AI to This Scene From ‘The Bear’ Undermines Every Artistic Choice Jeremy Allen White Made In It
It’s not innovation. It’s just gross, thoughtless consumption.
I am no fan of AI-generated “art” and am glad the law is finally coming for it. Get em, Getty! There is something gross, paternalistic, and tech-bro-y about the whole thing: “I know better than you, so let me take the art you created and make it worse by applying something with no thought to it just because I can.” So it paradoxically gives me great joy, and also no joy whatsoever, to share with you someone who decided to apply NVIDIA AI’s eye-contact AI technology to an extremely powerful scene in The Bear, for no reason other than that they could. Obviously, they got immediately roasted in return, which is the joy part.
First, if I had to see this abomination, you do too:
To give context this scene is where the main character in The Bear, Carmy, is talking about his dead brother in an Al-Anon meeting. It’s a very emotional monologue. Jeremy Allen White won a Golden Globe for his acting here, so clearly he did something right.
I agree with the above sentiment in the Tweet, by the way. Thankfully Skynet is not fully online yet, and my dumb human trick is I can tell when AI has manipulated a human face, and this is still in the uncanny valley. That said, I think this is morally wrong and artistically bankrupt. I’m not alone in that assertion.
The practical applications of this technology no one really asked for are pretty limited right now (thankfully) as you’ll see in this other demo:
Look, I realize I am on the losing side here. We live in a world of optimization for optimization’s sake. What I mean by that is that somewhere along the line, and the answer is usually Ronald Regan, daily life became about streamlining processes for corporations, instead of making things better for the average person. This tech is not designed to make our lives better, this tech is designed to cut corners, remove the artist from the artistic process, and put it in the hands of the people in charge of making us thoughtlessly consume more to increase their bottom line. Now an artistic choice can be taken out of the hands of an actor, the director, and the production team; and into the hands of the people who own the final end product, where there used to be a division. That’s bad!
It used to be that the suits would hand notes to the creatives, who got to interpret (and ignore if they had enough clout) the notes, and execute their vision. Now, the suits are in control of the entire process. The MBAs of the world have created a system where movies—even if they are almost done, like Batgirl—can be scrapped for tax write-offs. Who benefits from this, other than businesses? Not us! We’re missing out on art, and life is dreary enough in 2023. Art existing for merely its own sake is truly one of the simple, beautiful pleasures of life, now everything is commodified, repurposed, and designed to sell us something. Marilyn Monroe, who has been dead for more than 50 years, is worth far more dead than alive, financially.
My point is, this is what happens when art, or the artist, is taken over by business. Nothing gets to exist on its own, everything must be monetized, repackaged, repurposed, and have a monetary value assigned to it; or serve as fuel for AI to feed off of with a secondary purpose for AI to eventually monetize itself.
I do not buy the egalitarian argument that AI-generated art gives everyone access and the ability to create their own art now because these platforms are being built off the copywritten work of actual human beings. There’s a word for an organism that derives its food from its host. It’s called a parasite.
(featured image: Frank Ockenfels/FX)
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