SXSW audience loudly boos festival videos extolling the virtues of AI

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Talk of the future of artificial intelligence can be seen throughout SXSW this year — and not all festival attendees are excited by the idea. In particular, movie and TV fans watching screenings of world premieres including “The Fall Guy” and “Immaculate” made their AI displeasure loud and clear Tuesday at the Paramount Theater in Austin. (Scroll down to see for yourself.)

Quick-change video editors at SXSW cut a daily sizzle reel highlighting previous panels, premieres and other events, which run before festival screenings. On Tuesday, the fourth edition of this daily video focused on a wide variety of keynotes and panelists to discuss AI in the city. Those people certainly seem excited about artificial intelligence, and Paramount’s audience—many of whom are likely to be writers and actors who spend most of 2023 reigning in AI’s potentially destructive power. spent trying to – decided to promote the video. . with power. And often.

Those boos were loudest when Peter Deng, OpenAI’s VP of consumer products and head of ChatGPT, declared on camera, “I actually think AI basically makes us more human.”

This is not a popular opinion. Deng participated in the session “AI and Humanity’s Co-Evolution with Open AI’s Head of Chat GPT” on Monday, moderated by Signalfire user VC and former TechCrunch editor Josh Konstein.

Constine opens the video with another soundbite that quips: “SXSW has always been a digital culture maker, and I think if you look in this room, you can see that AI is a culture. “

Also appearing in the video: Futurist Amy Webb, CEO of the FutureToday Institute and professor at the NYU Stern School of Business, who gave her 2024 Emerging Tech Trends report. (Guess what tech trend is emerging!)

Another speaker: Sandy Carter, author of “The Tiger and the Rabbit: Harnessing the Power of AI and Blockchain for Business Success.” Carter had books to sell at SXSW and you can pretty much imagine his position: “You know your business is going to suffer — and so you stop resisting it. Need to start learning,” he told his panel audience, who probably didn’t. As much as people are waiting to see “Benazir”.

There were also shouts for Magic Leap founder Ronnie Abovitz, who during the panel “Story Worlds, Our Blues and Amplifying Humanity with AI” offered this advice: “Be one of those people who take advantage of AI, this Don’t worry about it.”

The future of artificial intelligence is clearly on everyone’s mind, and for good reason. We even opened Variety’s “Power of Comedy” with a bit of fun at the expense of AI — tricking the audience into chanting “artificial intelligence” and then chewing them out for doing so. (it was fun.)

Also on Tuesday, “Everything Everywhere All at One” filmmakers Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, known together as Daniels, expressed their fears over AI’s impact on storytelling.

That sentiment was certainly shared at Paramount on Tuesday. Could AI have written “The Fall Guy”? Did he star in “Immaculate”? no way. still not. But as artificial intelligence continues to improve, so do its practical uses — and the risk that it could replace tasks previously handled by humans.

We used to laugh at some of the phrases that came up with ChatGPT. They are getting better, and not so funny. A year ago it seemed ridiculous that AI could replace actors. Now, OpenAI’s Sora is so game-changing it scares Tyler Perry.

And that’s why the SXSW crowd couldn’t help but gush over the notion that AI is “a culture” or that it “fundamentally makes us more human.”

Tuesday night’s audience at the Paramount Theater is:

And here are some reactions from festival attendees:

(Photo: Josh Konstein and Peter Deng “Featured Session: A Conversation with the Head of OpenAI’s ChatGPT” as part of SXSW 2024 held at the Austin Convention Center on March 11 in Austin, Texas ).

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