How will AI impact the arts? Sinéad Bovell explains

Technology is playing a major role in the arts and entertainment industries today. And no, I just don’t mean in terms of the visual experience that has been really elevated thanks to new technologies like The Volume. Technologies such as blockchain-powered NFTs and artificial intelligence (AI) are evolving the way we develop and approach entertainment media.

Futurist, entrepreneur and fellow Canadian Sinéad Bovell sat down with us for a chat at Elevate Festival 2022 to discuss the ever changing landscape of technology, how technology is going to change the way in which we work (including within the arts), and how artificial intelligence specifically is going to fundamentally evolve the arts as an industry. Bovell is the Founder of Waye, a startup that aims to educate the next generation of professionals on how technology and new innovations are changing the future of work.

We chatted a little bit about NFTs as well, something that has become fundamentally important to both artists and the fans that engage with them. GenZeroes, an NFT-supported television series that we discussed with actress Bethany Brown a number of weeks back, showcased the possibilities of NFTs to empower artists, create engagement points for fans, and ultimately provide a more robust ownership platform for artistic works.

AI on the other hand is going to help us take technologies like NFTs one step further. As Bovell explains, AI is going to fundamentally change the speed at which we approach and develop projects.

And this is already happening with the arts.

Back in 2016, publication Ars Technica debuted Sunspring, a sci-fi short film that was written entirely by AI. While many people who reviewed the production clearly highlighted that replacing the human element from the writers room isn’t coming anytime soon, it did highlight the possibilities with AI. This is even more so important as the pace in which technology is evolving is growing day by day. Since that short film, we’ve had many more productions use AI to create their stories.

However, as you will find in our chat, there are some factors of artificial intelligence that still need to be addressed on the human level. Important aspects such as representation need to be addressed, as AI is after all a reflection on the people building it.

Bovell was kind enough to take some time out of what was a packed day of programming at Elevate to share her thoughts on AI, the future of work, and really how all this is going to affect the arts. Its something worth thinking about as we plan and engage with the projects of tomorrow. Our engagement with the arts may look a whole lot different in a future that isn’t too far away.


Photo: Steve Murakami / The Arts Guild

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