Guillermo del Toro echoed the words of Hayao Miyazaki when recently asked by Decider about animation created from artificial intelligence sources and machines: “It’s an insult to life itself.” Del Toro has been making the press rounds in support of his Netflix film “Pinocchio,” a hand-crafted stop-motion movie that stands in direct opposition to machine-generated animation.
“I consume and love art made by humans,” del Toro said. “I am completely moved by that. And I am not interested in illustrations made by machines and the extrapolation of information. I talked to Dave McKean, a great artist. He told me his greatest hope is that AI cannot draw.”
Del Toro continued, “AI can interpolate information but it can never draw. It can never capture a feeling or a countenance or the softness of a human face. If that conversation was being had about film it would hurt deeply and…as Miyazaki says, it’d be an insult to life itself.”
In a viral moment from the 2016 documentary series “NHK Special: Hayao Miyazaki — The One Who Never Ends,” the eponymous Studio Ghibli co-founder railed against machine-generated animation.
Miyazaki was shown an animation of a zombie-esque creature created by AI, to which he responded: “Whoever creates this stuff has no idea what pain is whatsoever. I am utterly disgusted. If you really want to make creepy stuff, you can go ahead and do it. I would never wish to incorporate this technology into my work at all. I strongly feel that this is an insult to life itself.”
After being informed that one animator was attempting to create a machine that “draws pictures like humans do,” Miyazaki fired back, “I feel like we are nearing to the end of the times. We humans are losing faith in ourselves.”
Studio Ghibli announced Dec. 13 that it will debut Miyazaki’s long-awaited new directorial effort, “How Do You Live,” in theaters in Japan starting July 14, 2023. The project is Miyazaki’s first movie since 2013’s “The Wind Rises.” Del Toro’s “Pinocchio,” meanwhile, is now available to stream on Netflix.