Tyler Perry pauses £630m film studio construction due to concerns over AI

Tyler Perry
Tyler Perry is a TV and film giant with his own studio complex in Atlanta [GETTY IMAGES]

Acclaimed US film and TV mogul Tyler Perry delays $800m (£630m) expansion of his studio due to apprehensions surrounding emerging AI technology.’

Tyler Perry, a respected figure in the film and TV industry, has made the decision to postpone the planned expansion of his Atlanta studio by adding 12 sound stages. His concerns stem from the recent introduction of OpenAI’s video generator, Sora.

Expressing his worries, Perry, aged 54, fears that the advancement of artificial intelligence will result in a significant loss of jobs within the film industry. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, he described the capabilities of Sora as “shocking.”

As a result of witnessing the demonstrations and realizing the extent of Sora’s capabilities, Perry has decided to halt all progress on the expansion plans, emphasizing that the decision is indefinite.

While he had heard about the development of this technology over the past year, it was not until recently that he truly comprehended its potential impact. Perry expressed his astonishment at what he had observed, stating, “It’s shocking to me.”

It’s important to note that Sora, created by the same company responsible for ChatGPT, has been released in a limited manner this month and is not yet available for public use.

Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey
Perry works closely with Oprah Winfrey [GETTY IMAGES]

OpenAI’s CEO engaged with their followers on the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), accepting requests and using them to create videos that showcased the remarkable capabilities of the technology.

Despite having limited resources and only a few text prompts to work with, the AI system was able to generate realistic video content, reaching up to one minute in duration. This demonstration highlighted the impressive potential of the technology in generating lifelike footage.

‘Very, very concerned’

Perry expressed astonishment at the capabilities of technology, suggesting that it could potentially render traveling to locations and constructing physical sets unnecessary. He found it surprising that he could accomplish tasks using a computer from the comfort of an office. However, he also voiced concerns about the potential job losses this technological advancement could entail, particularly for actors, editors, sound specialists, and transporters. Perry emphasized his worry for the livelihoods of those involved in the industry.

Perry shared his personal experience of using AI on set to portray an older version of himself in a scene, which eliminated the need for hours of aging makeup. The use of AI in the industry has already sparked discussions and was a significant point of contention during the 2023 Hollywood strikes. Writers expressed concerns about their jobs being replaced by AI, while actors worried about being substituted on set by the technology.

Although an agreement was eventually reached between studios and Hollywood workers, Perry believes that the entire industry needs to unite to safeguard people’s livelihoods. He emphasized the necessity for collective action and collaboration to protect the future of the industry, as it undergoes rapid transformations right before everyone’s eyes. Perry’s call was for all stakeholders to come together and address the challenges posed by advancing technology.

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