AI-Generated Art in Netflix’s ‘Dog and Boy’ Anime Causes Controversy

Recently, Netflix unveiled “Dog and Boy,” an animated short film, which it described as an “experimental effort” to address the persistent labor shortage in the anime industry. Netflix Japan explained on Twitter that the background images in the three-minute video were created using image generation technology. Although the short film received positive feedback, it also sparked controversy.

The company claims that the project is a “experimental effort” aimed at resolving the shortage of labour in the anime industry, but people are not buying it.

People expressed their concerns regarding the way Netflix and Wit Studio, the producer of the short film “Dog and Boy,” credited the individuals who contributed to the project. Although human animators played a significant role in creating the background and revising the AI’s work, the background designer was listed as “AI (+Human)” in the credits. The credits also mentioned Rinna Inc, an AI artwork company, and a group of AI researchers.

Anime creators, in particular, are worried that AI may diminish the value of their work. The labor shortage that Netflix referred to is a result of the widespread use of underpaid freelance workers by the majority of Japan’s animation studios. This has made anime production unsustainable.

Artists fear that AI may reduce the value of their work, but this concern is heightened among anime creators. The labor shortage that Netflix cites is due to the prevalent use of underpaid freelance workers by a majority of Japan’s animation studios, leading to unsustainable labor practices in the anime industry.

Some people are also saying that it might be OK for a smaller indie company if they did something like this. But for big companies cutting their staff and replacing their work with free art is less than ideal.


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