Artificial Intelligence: The Latent Revolution in Filmmaking
Keywords:experimental film, experimental animation, abstraction, neural networks, GANs, artificial intelligence, latent spacewalk
New practices in experimental film are emerging as a result of artificial intelligence (AI) developments in machine learning and generative adversarial networks (GANs). The author describes this as a Latent Revolution in filmmaking, complementing Lev Manovich’s so-called Velvet Revolution in motion graphics that occurred in the mid-1990s. A review of current artistic and filmmaking practice using AI leads to the identification of the role of AI and GANs as creative partners, contributing their own ideas and imagery to complement those of the filmmaker. Experimental films produced recently using AI-based techniques are analysed; some of these could be said to be an extension of traditionally recognised practices, whereas others demonstrate new processes and result in novel genres of film that have little or no historical precedent. The primacy of latent space is highlighted as being a major characteristic of GANs that can lead to new kinds of creative imagery and in particular the ‘latent spacewalk film’.