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MIFF 2024 Hosts Insightful Panel on AI’s Transformative Role in Filmmaking

Mumbai: The Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) 2024 showcased an illuminating panel discussion titled ‘The Magic of AI,’ focusing on the transformative impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the film industry. The session delved into the scope, applications, and ethical considerations of AI technology in filmmaking, presenting a balanced view of its advantages and potential drawbacks.

The distinguished panel included Sankar Ramakrishnan, Senior Filmmaker and AI Expert from Trivandrum; Ujwal Nirgudkar, Chairman of the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers, India, and Technical Advisor to the National Film Heritage Mission; Sanath P.C., Cofounder and Director at Firefly Creative Studio; and Sanjay Jangid, Dean of Animation and Design at Chitkara University. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Nimish Kapoor, a science communicator and film curator with Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.

Sankar Ramakrishnan highlighted the efficiency AI brings to filmmaking, noting that AI can handle numerous tasks on film sets with precision, significantly reducing the time required for each job. He cautioned, however, that while AI minimizes the need for human labor, it also risks fostering overreliance on technology. “AI can manage all kinds of work with just one click, but it also has the potential to make us lazy by doing our work for us,” he observed.

Ujwal Nirgudkar emphasized the rapid evolution of technology and the necessity for continuous updates. He differentiated between traditional AI, which relies on patterns in data to make predictions, and generative AI, which learns from existing data to create new, similar data. Nirgudkar highlighted AI’s potential to level the playing field for newcomers and small creators in the film industry, explaining how AI can suggest necessary components for projects if storyboards are ready. However, he cautioned that AI must be used ethically to avoid misuse.

Sanath P.C. discussed the self-thinking capabilities of AI and its role in enhancing storytelling in films. He underscored the importance of responsible use, stressing that any software or technology is ultimately controlled by human beings and can be modified according to needs. “It is our responsibility to use AI responsibly,” he reminded the audience.

Sanjay Jangid drew parallels between the potential impact of AI and past technological revolutions such as electricity, the internet, and mobile phones. He stressed the importance of ethical usage, warning against using AI as a shortcut. “If you put garbage in, you will get garbage out. We should use AI carefully and for good causes only,” he concluded.

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