Inevitable Shifts

We are seeing a lot of pushback against AI and various arguments against adoption in the creative industries but what seems to be missing are alternative plans. People will often say “stop using AI and hire real people” but this is more of an aspirational statement, there is no plan on how to deal with the new dynamics that are developing.
We’ve already explained why we think that AI is a superior tool for creative photography output, among other reasons that we have for using AI creatively.
We have been on the edge of innovation for a very long time so we believe we can visualise how work and creativity will be changing, to some extent. We are power users and early adopters as a matter of lifestyle so transitions like this are easier for us to explore and handle, though it must be said we still struggle from time to time with the current pace of progress.
We empathise with everyone that feels overwhelmed and worried by the current pace of AI innovation and change. It’s a lot to take in, human brains evolved for slow rates of natural change. Man-made technological change can be rapid and disruptive. Still, we need to ask, what is the proposed alternative when a technology can do a task x10 or x100 times better than a human? We wrote about what happened when automobile technology displaced the horse horse and ox.
In this post we’d like to explore some developing examples from other industries that showcase how there are technological forces that you just cannot fight against. We believe that the only choice in these cases is to evolve and adapt with the rate of change and we’d love to hear alternative plans that anyone has to offer.

Dub Voiceover Acting

AI technology is very close to producing perfect voice translation with lip sync. That means Tom Cruise speaking Xhosa in his own voice and mannerisms, with perfect lip sync even on those beautiful click consonants. Have a look at the current state of research in this video by Adobe.
It may only be a couple of years before we have broad capability to release all movies with perfect dubbing in every language. It’s not just that AI dubbing will be cheaper than using voice actors, AI dubbing will be far superior in every practical way. Good luck finding a Lithuanian speaker that is a Nathalie Portman voice impersonator and can also match her acting style perfectly. AI dubbing completely solves the task of dubbing movies and all it will take is some hours of computation on a server farm, at almost the cost of electricity.
AI dubbing will of course be very bad for the job prospects of voice and dubbing actors. We are open to hear alternatives to AI adoption but we can’t think of anything that would practically work. Putting pressure on companies to keep using voice actors will not work for long, if at all. Releasing a movie with perfect localised dub in 500 languages is unprecedented and hugely appealing to consumers and movie studios. Even if some studios or media companies hold out for a while, competition will mean that they will all adopt the new standard very fast.
So what do we do as a society in the face of such massive change? We believe that we should make sure that everyone that may be affected knows about this, as soon as possible. Dubbing actors will have to somehow transition to new jobs, demand for this profession will fall off a cliff very soon. We should probably be talking about social safety nets for those slower to adapt or still caught by surprise.
We understand that this might seem depressive or scary, it’s reasonable to be worried and worry leads to faster action. But we cannot be giving a false sense of security that AI adoption will somehow be resisted and dub acting will be here forever. We need to face the change head on, accept the inevitability and plan ahead.

Robot Taxis

You might have noticed self-driving cars in your city, robots driven by Artificial Intelligence, as these capabilities have been improving and developing fast. The latest Large Language Model AI developments are further accelerating robot taxi implementation. It should be clear to everyone that an abundance of fully autonomous robot taxis is coming any year now. Flying robot taxis seem ready to appear in numbers very soon too, propelled by the convergence of AI, electric motors, and batteries. A massive paradigm shift in transportation is underway.
A main metric that we can measure the quality of driving is safety. Have a look at the latest open safety data by Tesla. The Tesla Autopilot is already around x5 times less likely to cause an accident than a human driver. This capability is already mind-blowing, a 80% decrease in injury and loss of life is one of the best outcomes we could hope for.
What do we all think will happen with robot taxi adoption when the reduction in accidents is 95% or 99%? Will you still entrust the life of your child to the bus driver or even to your own driving when there is an alternative that is x100 times safer? We think that public opinion will change drastically and it will be just a matter of industrial production of robot taxis catching up for full adoption. In due time, it will be seen as completely negligent and immoral for a human to drive on a public road instead of taking a robot taxi.
To make a quick mention of costs, we've seen estimates of around 60% reduction in the cost of personal  transportation, while making the travel time available for work, rest, or entertainment.
The above scenario is of course very bad for driving jobs, there is a total elimination of this sector on the horizon, comparable to the invention of the automobile and the elimination of all the horse and draft animal related jobs, as we wrote earlier. Now automobile related jobs will have to transform and adapt to the new dynamic brought about by robot taxis. This seems utterly inevitable and, as with voice acting, we think it’s irresponsible to deny this inevitability.

The Bottom Line

We shared the above two examples as they are clearer and more straightforward examples than our creative industry implications of AI adoption, here at Rogue + Wolf. We don’t think that photography and modelling faces complete replacement by AI but dubbing  voice acting and driving seem to face complete obsolescence. It’s clearer in these two later cases that technological progress cannot be resisted.
Whatever obsolescence AI creates in the creative sector, that also cannot be resisted. And as depressing as it is to know that resistance is futile, we believe the right way forward is acceptance and evolution.
AI voice translation with lip sync doesn’t only mean accessible movies. When eventually dubbing is possible in real time  it will mean most communication barriers will be lifted for humanity. Video calls will be always in your favourite language, no matter who you speak with. When AI dubbing is achieved on Augmented Reality (like that offered by the Apple Vision Pro), we will have the same dubbing capability in face to face conversations. Global collaboration is bound to explode when the language barrier is lifted.
Self driving robot taxis will not only bring costs down and safety up, robot cars also mean a massive reduction in traffic through efficiency, a massive reduction in the need for parking spaces as robot cars can go to the next job after dropping the customer off, a lot of new free time for all car owners as they won’t have to drive anymore. The increase in productivity and lower costs around transportation will more than offset the destruction of driving jobs.
We cannot predict the new industries that will be created by the upcoming abundance. It’s certain though that humanity always finds novel ways to take advantage of new abundance. Creative Destruction will happen as it has before with every new disruptive technology. We can confidently predict that humanity will find incredible ways to enrich and improve all lives with these new capabilities introduced by AI adoption.
With love and optimism,
Michael and Eloise
Founders and Directors at Rogue + Wolf

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