For Tim Burton, seeing his unique cinematic style imitated by technology was “The Nightmare Before AI.”
The “Beetlejuice” director, best known for his haunting gothic aesthetic on films and shows such as “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “Corpse Bride” and Netflix’s “Wednesday,” reflected on the artistic horror of seeing his style replicated by artificial intelligence.
In July, Buzzfeed used an AI generator to recreate images of iconic Disney characters such as Elsa from “Frozen,” Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” and Aurora from “Sleeping Beauty” in the vein of Burton’s gothic style.
“They had AI do my versions of Disney characters!” Burton told The Independent in an interview 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.’ “
While Burton conceded some of the AI artworks were “very good,” he said the recreations were painful on a creative level.
“What it does is it sucks something from you. It takes something from your soul or psyche; that is very disturbing, especially if it has to do with you,” Burton said. “It’s like a robot taking your humanity, your soul.”
Burton isn’t the only one in Hollywood railing against the encroachment of AI in entertainment.
Actor Bryan Cranston criticized the use of artificial intelligence in the film and television industries during an appearance at the SAG-AFTRA “Rock the City For a Fair Contract” rally in Times Square, New York, in July amid the ongoing Hollywood actors strike.
During his speech, Cranston alluded to AI while calling out Disney CEO Bob Iger, who previously called actors’ strike activity “disturbing.”
“I know, sir, that you look (at) things through a different lens,” Cranston said. “We don’t expect you to understand who we are. But we ask you to hear us, and beyond that to listen to us when we tell you we will not be having our jobs taken away and given to robots. We will not have you take away our right to work and earn a decent living. And lastly, and most importantly, we will not allow you to take away our dignity.”
‘We ask you to hear us’: Bryan Cranston slams artificial intelligence during SAG-AFTRA rally
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘Beetlejuice’ director Tim Burton slams artificial intelligence