Christopher Nolan weighs in on the whole AI debate

The Oppenheimer director, who used no CGI for depictions of nuclear science, is surprisingly excited about the controversial tool.

The countdown to the release of Oppenheimer continues to tick and is almost up. The film is said to be a devastating look at how the world changed with the creation of the ultimate weapon of war. The first reactions that have come in are glowing as they praise the film for being one of Christopher Nolan’s best works. Many have sung similar praises of the film being one that leaves you shaken. A biographer of the infamous historical figure who is the subject of the film has even said to still be emotionally recovering after an advanced screening.

The filmmaker at the helm, Christopher Nolan, has also boasted that Oppenheimer, which will no doubt feature a depiction of an atomic explosion, was made with no CGI. Nolan is a prominent figure in preserving the tradition of classic cinema and prefers to use advanced filmmaking technology in a more grounded fashion. He doesn’t shoot digital. He will still shoot on film, but he will also use the most advanced, sophisticated means to do it. So, now that AI is a looming cloud on all things art, how does Nolan come to terms with it? In a recent interview with Wired, Nolan is surprisingly somewhat in favor of it.

As Oppenheimer showcases the world changing with technology in the right hands, Nolan equally feels AI needs to be used with a certain responsibility. “I feel that AI can still be a very powerful tool for us. I’m optimistic about that. I really am. But we have to view it as a tool. The person who wields it still has to maintain responsibility for wielding that tool. If we accord AI the status of a human being, the way at some point legally we did with corporations, then yes, we’re going to have huge problems.”

Nolan adds that he does see benefits of its use, “The whole machine learning as applied to deepfake technology, that’s an extraordinary step forward in visual effects and in what you could do with audio. There will be wonderful things that will come out, longer term, in terms of environments, in terms of building a doorway or a window, in terms of pooling the massive data of what things look like, and how light reacts to materials. Those things are going to be enormously powerful tools.”

With his perspective, the interviewer asks how Nolan plans to use the tech, “I’m, you know, very much the old analog fusty filmmaker. I shoot on film. And I try to give the actors a complete reality around it. My position on technology as far as it relates to my work is that I want to use technology for what it’s best for. Like if we do a stunt, a hazardous stunt. You could do it with much more visible wires, and then you just paint out the wires. Things like that.”

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