AI Art is Putting Anime Creators Out of Work and Netflix Has Just Joined The Party

One Piece Anime Decoration Figures
One Piece Anime Decoration Figures

People are pissed at Netflix after the streaming giant relied on AI-generated artwork to paint backgrounds of a newly released anime.

In a tweet, Netflix Japan said that the project, a short called the Dog & The Boy, utilized AI software due to labor shortages in the anime industry. 

“As an experimental effort to help the anime industry, which has a labor shortage, we used image generation technology for the background images of all three-minute video cuts!” the streaming platform wrote in a tweet. 

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The tweet sparked instant outrage from commenters who believed that Netflix was using AI to dodge paying human artists. This has been a central tension since image-generation AI skyrocketed last year. Many artists say these tools as unethical—due to being trained on masses of human-made art scraped from the internet— and will further cut costs and devalue workers. Netflix Japan claimed that AI was used to fill a labor gap.

The short film was created by Netflix Anime Creators Base—a Tokyo-based hub the company created to strengthen its anime output with new tools and methods—in collaboration with Rinna Inc., an AI-generated artwork company, and production company WIT Studio, which produced the first three seasons of Attack on Titan.