Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry halts £630m film studio build over AI fears

Author: Annabel Rackham, Culture reporter Source: BBC News:
February 24, 2024 at 05:19
Tyler Perry is a TV and film giant with his own studio complex in Atlanta. Getty Images
Tyler Perry is a TV and film giant with his own studio complex in Atlanta. Getty Images

US film and TV giant Tyler Perry says he's putting a $800m (£630m) expansion of his studio on hold after becoming concerned over new AI technology.


He was due to add 12 sound stages to his Atlanta complex, but says he has been put off by the release of OpenAI's video generator Sora.

Perry, 54, believes "a lot of jobs" will be lost in the film industry because of artificial intelligence.

He told the Hollywood Reporter that Sora had "shocking" capabilities.

"All of that [work] is currently and indefinitely on hold because of Sora and what I'm seeing," he said.

"I had gotten word over the last year or so that this was coming, but I had no idea until I saw recently the demonstrations of what it's able to do. It's shocking to me."

The tool, which has been made by the company behind ChatGPT, was launched in a limited way earlier this month and is not yet open to public consumption.

Getty Images Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey
Getty Images, Perry works closely with Oprah Winfrey

OpenAI's CEO took requests from followers on X, formerly known as Twitter, and produced videos with their suggestions to show its capabilities.

With access to few resources and a couple of text prompts, it was able to produce lifelike footage up to one minute long.

'Very, very concerned'

Perry said the technology could make travelling to locations and building sets redundant: "I can sit in an office and do this with a computer, which is shocking to me," he said.

He added that he was "very, very concerned" that this could mean jobs for actors, editors, sound specialists and transporters could be lost.

Perry, who has starred in films such as Don't Look Up and Gone Girl, did say however that he had recently used AI on set to make himself older for a scene, which meant he "avoided having to sit through hours of aging makeup".

AI is already on the minds of many in the industry and was one of the main sticking points during the 2023 Hollywood strikes.

Many writers were concerned about their jobs being taken by AI, whilst actors were concerned that the technology could be used to replace them on set.

Despite an agreement being reached between studios and Hollywood workers, Perry said the "whole industry" needs to come together to protect people's livelihoods.

"It can't be one union fighting every contract every two or three years. I think that it has to be everybody, all involved in how do we protect the future of our industry because it is changing rapidly, right before our eyes," he said.

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