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Tim Burton haunted by AI imitations of his work

Photocall 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' In Rome
Tim Burton

Tim Burton felt like he had “lost a bit of his soul” when he saw artificial intelligence (AI) creations based on his own style of animation.

The legendary filmmaker, who has directed both live-action and animated movies, spoke about technology’s impact on Hollywood during a recent interview with The Independent newspaper.

Commenting on a Buzzfeed story published in July that reimagined Disney animations if Burton had made them, he said it left him feeling deeply uncomfortable.

“They had AI do my versions of Disney characters!” he worried. “I can’t describe the feeling it gives you. It reminded me of when other cultures say, ‘Don’t take my picture because it is taking away your soul.’”

The AI-generated examples included depictions of Elsa from Frozen and Aurora from Sleeping Beauty in the Corpse Bride director’s trademark Gothic style.

“What it does is it sucks something from you,” he explained. “It takes something from your soul or psyche; that is very disturbing, especially if it has to do with you. It’s like a robot taking your humanity, your soul.”

The use of AI in Hollywood has become a hot topic in recent months, as fears over the use of the technology has fuelled the ongoing actors’ and writers’ strikes. Worries that AI could be used to write scripts or replace actors have helped stall contract negotiations between the writers’ and actors’ unions and studios and streamers.

– Cover Media