Guillermo del Toro says AI is an Insult

Guillermo del Toro recently opened up to Decider about his feeling on AI. It turns out that he sees it as an insult to life itself, or at least that’s what his quote stated. He’s echoing the sentiments of Hayao Miyazaki when he said largely the same thing. While del Toro has been out talking about his newest movie, Pinocchio, it only stands to reason that he would be asked about the concept of AI. He’s the kind of director who still shoots stop motion and practical effects and you have to respect him for that.

He doesn’t like to use computers to make his movies. In fact, here’s what he said about art and AI: “I consume and love art made by humans. I am completely moved by that. And I am not interested in illustrations made by machines and the extrapolation of information. I talked to Dave McKean, a great artist. He told me his greatest hope is that AI cannot draw.” That should tell you everything you need to know about where he’s coming from, and it makes sense. His movies may be dark, but they’re also about human emotion, from the very start to the very end.

Hayao Miyazaki is very much in the same camp. He was featured in a 2016 documentary titled “NHK Special: Hayao Miyazaki — The One Who Never Ends” when he started talking about AI. Here was his take away: “Whoever creates this stuff has no idea what pain is whatsoever. I am utterly disgusted. If you really want to make creepy stuff, you can 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.” After being informed that one animator was attempting to create a machine that “draws pictures like humans do,” Miyazaki fired back, “I feel like we are nearing to the end of the times. We humans are losing faith in ourselves.”

It’s not tough to see where they’re coming from and there’s nothing wrong with that sentiment at all. So, what did del Toro actually have to say? Well, here it is: “AI can interpolate information but it can never draw. It can never capture a feeling or a countenance or the softness of a human face. If that conversation was being had about film it would hurt deeply and…as Miyazaki says, it’d be an insult to life itself.”

So, there you have it. According to these two filmmakers, AI has no place in art. You can agree with it, or you can disagree. The only thing that matters is whether or not you support movies that use AI. If you enjoy it, then please buy your tickets. If you don’t, then simply avoid them. It doesn’t have to get any more complicated than that. AI is still going to be used in movies, regardless of the feelings of the people still using real people and that’s just a fact.