MIFF Discussion on ‘The magic of AI (Artificial Intelligence)’ highlights advantages & disadvantages of technology in Film Industry

The Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) 2024 witnessed an enlightening panel discussion on the transformative impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the film industry. Titled ‘The Magic of AI’, the session focused on the scope, applications, and ethical considerations of AI technology in filmmaking. The panelists discussed both the advantages and potential drawbacks of AI, providing a comprehensive overview of its influence on the industry.

The panel comprised renowned figures from the film industry and AI experts, including Sankar Ramakrishnan, Senior Filmmaker and AI Expert from Trivandrum; Ujwal Nirgudkar, Chairman of Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers,  India and Technical Advisor to the National Film Heritage Mission; Sanath P.C., Cofounder and Director at Firefly Creative Studio and Sanjay Jangid, Dean of Animation and Design at Chitkara University. The session was moderated by Dr. Nimish Kapoor, a Science communicator & science film curator with Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India.

Sankar Ramakrishnan highlighted the efficiency AI brings to filmmaking, stating that AI can manage numerous tasks on film sets with precision, minimizing the time required for each job. He pointed out that while AI reduces the need for human labor, it also risks making people overly reliant on technology. “AI can manage all kinds of work with just one click, but it also has the potential to make us lazy by doing our work for us,” he noted.

Ujjwal Nirgunkar emphasized the rapid evolution of technology and the necessity for constant updates. He explained the difference between traditional AI, which relies on patterns in data to make predictions, and generative AI, which learns from existing data to create new, similar data. He highlighted the potential of AI to level the playing field for newcomers and small creators in the film industry. He added how AI can suggest necessary components for projects if storyboards are ready, but cautioned that it must be used ethically.

Sanath P.C. discussed the self-thinking capabilities of AI and its role in enhancing storytelling in films. He underscored the importance of responsible use, stating how any software or technology is controlled by human beings and can be modified as per our needs. He reminded the audience how it is our responsibility to use AI responsibly.

Sanjay Jangid compared the potential impact of AI to past technological revolutions such as electricity, the internet, and mobile phones. He stressed the importance of ethical usage, warning against using AI as a shortcut. “If you put garbage in, you will get garbage out. We should use AI carefully and for good causes only,” he concluded.

The discussion underscored AI’s potential to revolutionize the film industry while highlighting the need for ethical considerations and responsible use. The panelists’ insights provided valuable perspectives on the future of filmmaking in the age of AI.

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