Disney Is So Serious About Using AI it Created a Task Force

There is a new task force working inside Disney, and its focus is on using AI to cut costs and avoid becoming obsolete.

As Reuters reports(Opens in a new window), a trio of sources combined with 11 job openings(Opens in a new window) for roles in AI and machine learning, confirm the entertainment conglomerate is pursuing a number of AI-focused solutions to some very expensive problems. Those solutions include developing new in-house software and forming partnerships with AI startups.

When asked by Reuters, a Disney spokesperson declined to comment.

Apparently every area of Disney’s business is being reviewed by this task force to see how an injection of AI could help. Examples include an AI-powered ad system, theme park customer service enhancements, and probably most importantly of all—taking advantage of AI to drastically reduce the cost of producing movies and TV shows.

One of Reuters sources said production costs are of particular concern right now as a major release, such as Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, can have a budget in the hundreds of millions. That movie also required a considerable amount of work by more than 100 artists over a three-year period to “de-age” Harrison Ford for the first few minutes of the movie—work that is viable for AI to carry out in future much more quickly and for a fraction of the cost.

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The focus on AI comes as Disney is already cutting costs elsewhere. It scrapped plans for a billion-dollar office complex in Orlando, announced its intention to cut 7,000 jobs this year, increased the price of a Disney+ subscription, and decided to merge two streaming services by the end of this year. Meanwhile, actors are striking in part because of how Hollywood intends to use AI.

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