Can AI Replace Actors? Here’s How Digital Double Tech Work

Digital Double Technology:  how digital double technology works, wherein performers' faces and bodies are scanned using photogrammetry booths equipped with multiple cameras. 

– These scans are used to create 3D digital avatars that can be animated to perform various actions and motions in movies, TV shows, and video games.

– These scans are used to create 3D digital avatars that can be animated to perform various actions and motions in movies, TV shows, and video games.

AI Advancements: Generative AI, similar to the technology behind ChatGPT, is making aspects of the digital double process faster and simpler. 

– Some VFX companies already use generative AI to modify the appearance of digital doubles, allowing them to "de-age" actors or replace faces with historical figures' likenesses.

Human Involvement: While AI plays a role in speeding up certain processes, living humans are still involved in crafting performances

– For instance, real-world actors perform scenes, and then effects artists replace their faces with those of historical figures.

Uncanny Valley: The article notes that there is currently no generative AI model capable of producing complete, photorealistic, and moving scenes from scratch

– There is a wide gap in achieving the realism needed to fully replace human actors with AI-generated characters.

Actor's Rights and Concerns: Actors' unions, such as SAG-AFTRA, express concerns about the abuse of actors' likenesses 

– Legal ownership over one's likeness varies across states, and while there are exceptions for artistic and expressive use, actors could potentially sign contracts giving their likeness rights to production companies.

– Future Implications: The fear of AI completely replacing human actors prompts actors to be cautious when signing agreements and seek legal advice to protect their rights over their digital likenesses.

– Industry Standard: Creating digital doubles has become an industry standard for big-budget media productions, especially those involving extensive digital effects, action scenes, or actors portraying characters at multiple ages.

– Use in Media Production: Digital doubles are used not only to modify performances but also to create larger edits, such as transforming a group of background actors into a digital crowd.

– Privacy Concerns: The scanning process raises privacy concerns for actors, who may feel overwhelmed or uneasy during the photogrammetry sessions.

– Current Limitations: Despite the advancements in AI, there are still significant limitations in achieving complete realism, making the complete replacement of actors with AI-generated characters a distant possibility.