Is That Who I Think It Is?

The Growing Doubts of CGI and AI

CGI has evolved to be light-years ahead of the first awe-inspiring time we saw it on the big screen. For the older generations, this might have been seeing Stars Wars or Jurassic Park when they first came out. For the younger generation of movie-goers, superheroes from the DC or Marvel Comics universe are often the first time they are exposed to the computerized magic of CGI.

But both generations of movie lovers haven’t lost sight of one of the basic concepts of movie entertainment. It can only cause a visceral reaction in audiences if the audience allows it to. 

Every movie lover is ready to suspend their disbelief for a great movie with incredible CGI featuring their favorite movie stars. They know in the back of their mind that what they’re seeing is just talented actors and pixels manipulated by computers. It’s not real. The fact that it elicits a reaction in them is because they allow themselves to believe it’s real in the context of the characters and plot of the film. Both the audience and filmmakers are playing by a long-ago, agreed-upon set of rules. 

Future CGI and AI May Change the Rules

Actors and their legal representatives are paying close attention to the growth of CGI and AI. They’re wary of what the technology can become in the near future because the actor’s image and being is their only asset. 

Deep fakes” have been an issue for a few years now, and actors are rightfully worried about their existence as CGI and AI technologies converge and the deep fakes become harder to spot and debunk. 

Audiences should be concerned about the issue as well. Would we feel cheated by paying for a movie starring our favorite actor if we found out the actor was not in the movie at all?

There may have to be a whole new set of rules drawn up as it becomes harder to separate real-life actors from CGI and AI images. What if the deep fake’s performance is better than the actor’s acting talent? If the real actor is being paid and the audience knows what’s happening, what are the ramifications of this new twist in filmmaking?  

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