Keynote speaker Renard Jenkins


Keynote speaker Deepa Subramanian

Fill 1
Fill 1
March 18, 2024
Member News

AI Summit Helps Academy Members Navigate New Tech

An immersive day of panels about, and demonstrations of, artificial intelligence usage in pre-production, postproduction and audio, as well as discussions on ethical, legal and rights considerations.

When Scott Mann, director of the 2015 film Heist, saw a foreign-language dub of star Robert DeNiro, he was upset at how dialogue changes — made to better match the actor's lip movements — changed the meaning of scenes and story. So, in 2018 he cofounded the company Flawless, which offers Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered tools for vastly improved lip-syncing, dialogue replacement and other post-production work.

"The connection you get, combined with the emotions of the actor and the performance in the cinematic storytelling, really transform the experience of watching a film that has been translated in this way," Mann said at a demonstration of Flawless's TrueSync software. "It's breaking down the film into elemental components in a crazy-fast way. It used to take us 16 weeks to do four minutes. We can do this now in two hours."

Mann was one of 20 speakers and panelists at the Television Academy's first AI Summit who shared their expertise about the use of generative AI in the television industry. The event was developed by the Academy's AI Task Force, created last year to address the opportunities afforded by AI as well as members' concerns about the technology's effect on their livelihoods.

Held February 24 at the Saban Media Center in the NoHo Arts District, the day-long gathering presented panels and demonstrations on AI usage in pre-production, postproduction and audio, as well as discussions on ethical, legal and rights considerations.

Opening keynote speaker Renard T. Jenkins, SMPTE president and a Warner Bros. Discovery technology executive, reminded members that "AI is not sentient; it is simply mathematics, statistics and probability. And there is a person who has to actually type in what needs to happen, and then train it to respond." Becoming more educated about AI can help allay fears about it; though some fear is warranted and guardrails must be in place, AI will lead to innovation and opportunities. "Storytellers will rise," he said. "Visual artists will rise."

Among the numerous AI tools covered were, used for screenwriting, content analysis and script breakdown, and Runway, utilized in concept design, animation, production and post-production. Rerecording mixer Brian Riordan, owner of the Levels Audio post-production facility in Los Angeles, noted that working with AI, "We're doing the same thing. But it ultimately sounds better. And it takes a lot less time." The technology has not displaced any of his team members.

As for legal and ethics concerns, panelists said they obtain permission for likenesses and voices of those involved, and as a safeguard against copyright infringement, some keep content only on their clients' servers.

Science & Technology peer group governors Wendy Aylsworth and Barry Zegel head the AI Task Force. Click here to view a replay of the summit and click here to check out images from the event. 

Browser Requirements
The sites look and perform best when using a modern browser.

We suggest you use the latest version of any of these browsers:


Visiting the site with Internet Explorer or other browsers may not provide the best viewing experience.

Close Window