Tim Burton is definitely not a fan of the use of artificial intelligence.
In July, Buzzfeed published an article that used AI to "Tim Burton-ize" Disney characters — to make them look as if they were crafted in Burton's distinctive animation style. The story garnered clicks for the website, but the "Corpse Bride" director was not a fan.
“They had AI do my versions of Disney characters,” Burton told the Independent in a story published Saturday. “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.'”
He added the technology takes away from the essence of the craft and the humanity that goes into work like his.
"What it does is it sucks something from you,” Burton noted. “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.”
Burton isn't the only director to raise concerns about AI-generated material that mimics a creator's style.
Buzzfeed also published an article that used AI to create Wes Anderson-styled Disney characters. Additionally, there has been a trend where people make AI-generated movie trailers of popular films like "Star Wars" that are fashioned in Anderson's unique approach.
"I’m very good at protecting myself from seeing all that stuff,” Anderson told the Times of London in June. “If somebody sends me something like that I’ll immediately erase it and say, ‘Please, sorry, do not send me things of people doing me.’ Because I do not want to look at it, thinking, ‘Is that what I do? Is that what I mean?’ I don’t want to see too much of someone else thinking about what I try to be because, God knows, I could then start doing it.”
On Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival, "Pan's Labyrinth" director Guillermo del Toro addressed AI-generated content.
"People ask if I’m worried about artificial intelligence, I say I’m worried about natural stupidity. It’s just a tool, right?" Del Toro said. "If anyone wants movies made by AI, let them get it immediately. I don’t care about people who want to be fulfilled and get something s—, quickly ... Otherwise, why not buy a printer, print the 'Mona Lisa' and say you made it."
"Princess Mononoke" director and animation legend Hayao Miyazaki spoke about what AI might mean for the soul of art in Kaku Arakawa's 2019 documentary "10 Years With Hayao Miyazaki."
"Whoever creates this stuff has no idea what pain is whatsoever. I am utterly disgusted," Miyazaki said when shown AI-powered graphics. "If you really want to make creepy stuff, go ahead and do it. I would never wish to incorporate this technology into my work at all. I strongly feel that this is an insult to life itself."
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.