allegedly with Bo and Ryan | Season 2 Episode 10
Allegedly… with Bo and Ryan Podcast S2E10| Transcript
Ryan: [00:00:00] Welcome to Allegedly with Bo and Ryan, the only entertainment and law podcast that brings you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth …
Bo: [00:00:09] Allegedly. I’m Bo Bowen.
Ryan: [00:00:11] And I’m Ryan Schmidt.
Bo: [00:00:13] And you’re listening to Allegedly with Bo and Ryan. We’re coming to you from our law offices in beautiful, historic Savannah, Georgia, where we’ll be chatting about pop culture, hot legal topics in the news, and doing our best to change the way people think about the law and lawyers. But first, a little about us. Ryan’s personality is so magnetic that he is completely unable to carry credit cards.
Ryan: [00:00:38] And Bo once gave a pre-game pep talk. So moving and compelling that both teams won together.
Bo: [00:00:44] We’re the only corporate and entertainment lawyers in the free world who have never lost a single case … Allegedly. Welcome to Allegedly with Bo and Ryan. I am so glad to have Ryan back with us in the office and the studio today. I mean, dude, I was really starting to miss you and think I was never actually going to see you again.
Ryan: [00:01:07] Okay, I get it. Bo already told you I’m sorry for being four minutes late.
Bo: [00:01:11] Well, it seemed like a lifetime. Well, today we are going to talk about intelligence. Okay? Now, not the otherworldly real life intelligence exhibited by the likes of, you know, Ryan Schmidt, but the artificial kind.
Ryan: [00:01:28] Okay,
Bo: [00:01:29] AI. It’s been one of the sticking points of the WGA strike negotiations. And a lot of people are expressing concern about the impact AI may well have on the entertainment industry, particularly as this technology evolves. So before we do that, before we jump into that morass, why don’t you give us a little update from our last episode, Stream Records Canada is a Giant Scam.
Ryan: [00:01:58] There have been some crazy updates about this, actually. So we called these people out, these scammers, and we actually got their website and their Instagram shut down.
Bo: [00:02:09] Nice.
Ryan: [00:02:10] So I’m going to take that as a huge win.
Bo: [00:02:13] That’s amazing.
Ryan: [00:02:14] But you know, scammers never really go away. They just switch to a different scam. So you have to continue to stay vigilant. Remember Michelle Bailey, the fake CEO?
Bo: [00:02:25] Oh, the Russian model.
Ryan: [00:02:27] Exactly. Well, her Instagram, which is Michelle underscore Bailey underscore official has now been updated And even though Stream records Canada [is] gone, she’s now the CEO of Cashville Records, a brand new fake label So be on the lookout, folks.
Bo: [00:02:44] So when you get an offer from Cashville Records, maybe you might want to look at that a little more closely.
Ryan: [00:02:51] Exactly.
Bo: [00:02:52] So. Well, that’s great, Ryan. And didn’t you say someone actually contacted you and said, hey, I was I got this exact email and was just about to sign and …
Ryan: [00:03:02] Yeah, exactly. I love it. I love hearing that.
Bo: [00:03:05] That’s amazing. Well, let’s talk about I it only takes a few minutes with ChatGPT or Character.ai one of those sites to quickly see how impressive it is and really how addictive it is. I mean, you can get on there and just start playing with it and you kind of want to spend all day.
Ryan: [00:03:24] It’s kind of like me with Midjourney, the image creator. Like I just want to be like, Let me see a cat wearing a cowboy hat in the style of Garfield. It’s amazing.
Bo: [00:03:33] It really is impressive. But that having been said, I mean, it does have some extremely serious implications for the film, television and music industries. To hear some people tell it, I mean, it could ultimately put 90% or more of the people involved in those industries out of a job. I mean, that’s that’s how serious it is. It’s definitely not something that you can take lightly.
Ryan: [00:03:58] Yeah, it’s going to displace and eliminate jobs in every industry imaginable, even in law firms. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Hollywood’s actually been using AI in one form or another for years now. Many visual effects are some type of AI. You know, think about the technology used to turn Thanos into Josh Brolin, de-aging Luke Skywalker in the Mandalorian it’s essentially actors swapping faces. But that technology required some type of underlying pre-existing performance to manipulate. Where people are getting all hot and bothered, is this new wave of AI, the so-called generative AI. These are programs that have learned through vast databases and libraries, can create an all new end product based on a user specific request without any involvement from a real actor. So with the technology improving at the same time studio deals are expiring, the issue, as you can imagine, quickly becomes one of the most hotly contested negotiating points.
Bo: [00:04:55] I know you told me recently about a series of tweets that Justine Bateman sent out a few weeks ago. You know, Justine Bateman, or as I like to call her, the daughter on Family Ties that should have been my girlfriend when I was a teenager. Remember her?
Ryan: [00:05:10] Yeah, of course.
Bo: [00:05:11] So, I mean, she really went all in on the threat that AI posed to people in the entertainment industry. Some of the things she talked about are easy to understand. They’re easy to comprehend. I mean, like, AI written scripts, for example, I’m sure that’s being done already. Just like, you know, college kids are using AI and ChatGPT to do projects for school. I mean …
Ryan: [00:05:36] What? You can use it to cheat? [Laughter]
Bo: [00:05:38] So, with how easily you can use AI to write things and scripts, I mean, that’s obviously why the WGA is fighting so hard to make sure that issue is addressed in their new agreement. But that’s not really the scary part.
Ryan: [00:05:55] No, that’s that’s not really the scary thing. One of the things she predicted is that actors are going to start regularly allowing producers to scan their images and voices. And in fact, that’s what talent agents are requiring their new recruits to do now, is to allow them to be able to book out their voice, likeness and their image in double book it, triple book it, quadruple book it. So as you can imagine, you’re actually going to make more money this way because you don’t have to be in just one place at one time.
Bo: [00:06:27] Right .So, I mean, if you get like $0.50 on the dollar just to use your digital likeness and voice, you know, as opposed to full price for actually being there, if you can book a dozen digital projects at one time, you’re going to be making a lot more money for actually no work at all. When you think about it like that, I mean, it’s very easy to understand the appeal both to actors who can make extra money and also to producers who are saving that money by using the digital image and voice.
Ryan: [00:07:00] But as the technology improves, you aren’t even going to need the intentional digital scan. I mean, what have you found about that?
Bo: [00:07:07] When you think about it that way, it’s really easy to understand the appeal, the appeal to the actors because they’re getting paid more. You can also understand the appeal to the producers because they are saving a ton of money by not booking the actors live. By just using their digital image. And really, as the technology improves, you’re not even going to actually need that intentional digital scan. The AI is going to be able to generate a completely lifelike image just from scanning past works from any actor. I read about an incident just last year where Bruce Willis appeared in an ad for a Russian cell phone network where he was tied to a bomb on the back of a yacht yelling in a Russian accent. And the only problem was Bruce Willis had absolutely nothing to do with it.
Ryan: [00:08:03] No way.
Bo: [00:08:03] The whole ad was a deep fake created without Bruce Willis involvement or permission.
Ryan: [00:08:10] That’s really bad. When I when I think about deep fakes, I think of someone spending weeks trying to sync up somebody else’s face. But there’s really nothing like that. There’s a company called Metaphysic that has developed an AI that can capture the biometric profile of any human on earth and literally deepfake them in real time.
Bo: [00:08:31] It really is crazy. The deep fakes are already so good, it’s already almost impossible to tell the difference.
Ryan: [00:08:40] I mean kind of like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, right?
Bo: [00:08:42] Exactly.
Ryan: [00:08:43] I mean, although not to brag, but personally, I can almost always tell when the dinosaurs are fake.
Bo: [00:08:48] That’s impressive, Ryan. I mean, it’s. It’s really not hard to see where this is all headed. And it’s not just the digital recreation of actors or dinosaurs. I don’t think we’re far from the viewers themselves being able to get in on the act. I mean, think about it. Viewers will be able to scan themselves and drop themselves into any movie that they want. I mean, show me “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” but make me Indiana Jones and boom.
Ryan: [00:09:21] Or just have an AI, create a new movie altogether. I want a film about me eating spaghetti on Mars with Robert De Niro and put Megan Fox in it as my girlfriend in the style of Michael Bay. You know, boom, there we go.
Bo: [00:09:36] I mean, you’re right. I mean, anything is going to be possible. You don’t like the ending to “Succession.” Easy. Have the AI program. Just create a new ending, a new ending that looks and sounds so much like the original show that it is absolutely indistinguishable from the real thing. Or even better, you know, just ask the. I to create an entire new season of “Succession.” By the time it scans all the writing, all the acting, it reworks it through its algorithms and everything. I mean, it would you would literally not be able to tell a difference between what’s real and what’s I. Yet there would be no involvement from the original producers or the original production whatsoever.
Ryan: [00:10:24] Damn. I mean, it’s pretty easy to see from what you’ve said why this needs to be addressed immediately. It affects everybody from writers, actors, directors, crew, you know, even production studios. People are going to be watching things they didn’t create. The ones making the money are going to be the ones who own that technology AI mean.
Bo: [00:10:44] I’m looking at our contracts here, you know, at our firm, obviously, we draft contracts between actors and productions all the time. And for both sides, almost every contract grants, image, likeness and voice rights. And it’s also not unusual to include language granting simulation rights because it’s it’s very common for a production to have to change a line or two. And they don’t want to have to pay to bring the actor all the way back. But with the AI revolution, all that’s going to change. Just make sure you understand what that deal memo really covers. And if you have any question about it, by all means call us and let us take a look.
Ryan: [00:11:28] Oh, for sure. And future talent deals are really going to be these digital rights land mine.
Bo: [00:11:34] I mean, that’s to say the least. I’ll give you a real world example. James Earl Jones, 92 years old, has one of the most famous voices in the world. Obviously, you know, “this is CNN,” you know, and Mufasa. Exactly. And and, of course, Darth Vader. So he’s basically decided he doesn’t want to actively work anymore. So he’s licensed his voice to Disney for use with a product called Re-speecher. Okay. It can scan someone’s voice and then clone it so perfectly that you can make that person say anything at all. I mean, even hundreds of lines of dialogue and it is absolutely indistinguishable from the real thing. So Disney now because of that license agreement, can have Darth Vader appear in films for the next 100 years and it will still sound exactly like James Earl Jones.
Ryan: [00:12:30] So that’s that’s a use that’s actually with the person’s permission. But, you know, we just talked about scammers in my mind immediately goes there, too. If somebody can scan my voice just by listening to this podcast, what’s stopping them from calling my parents and saying, Hey, it’s me, I’m in Mexico, can you wire me $10,000? You know, or I’m going to be held by the cartel. It’s pretty scary. So it’s the technology’s there. I don’t know if you saw that recent South Park episode about ChatGPT, but a lot of that episode was actually written by ChatGPT.
Bo: [00:13:04] The genie is already out of the bottle, there’s no doubt about that. Ai is already being widely used. So the question is, how do we control it? Or even can it be controlled at this point?
Ryan: [00:13:17] Here’s the real danger. Under the current law, if you say I’m going to use AI to make a George Clooney movie without hiring George Clooney and then release it without his permission, he’s going to have some real legal remedies to stop that. But what if George Clooney sells the rights to his voice and image to a production company? Everything then just changes. Once you purchase the technology and the equipment, that technology will be able to generate a completely lifelike George Clooney movie at almost no cost. You know, generative AI will be 100 times cheaper than traditional 3D modeling, VFX or CGI. But here’s the thing to think about. If I’m George Clooney and I grant my exclusive likeness to some AI company, can I now be prevented from starring in future movies?
Bo: [00:14:06] I don’t think anybody knows the answer to that question. That’s really one of the problems and one [of the reasons] why it’s such a huge topic right now. I mean, when you think about the fact that this generative AI will be able to create an entire movie cheaper than the cost of setting up a single camera, you can see why it poses a giant threat to the entire industry, particularly all the people that work in the industry. So, think about the impact that this could have on society as a whole beyond just the entertainment industry. Once this technology reaches that point of being able to create anything, which it definitely will and probably very soon, and that technology then becomes widespread and available to pretty much anyone. Well. Think about all the different scenarios and problems that brings up. Can you even begin to imagine the impact that would have on the legal system? Oh, man. I mean, the district attorney stands up and says, “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, please turn your attention to the screen. I present to you indisputable proof that Ryan Schmidt is the Peach State Strangler. We have actual video of him entering the victim’s house two minutes prior to the attack and then exiting one minute later.” And then boom. A video that shows exactly that despite the fact that you were nowhere near that scene.
Ryan: [00:15:46] Wow. That’s terrifying. And you’re absolutely right. This technology is only going to continue to improve, to be more accessible, and then trying to determine whether an audio or video recording is authentic in the future is going to be a nightmare.
Bo: [00:16:01] Not only that, but the privacy issues involved. We read stories every day about Facebook or other companies either being hacked or just straight up selling your people’s personal information to third parties. So what happens if you decide, you know, I want to kiss Rose at the front of the Titanic? And so you scan yourself and you drop yourself into the movie. Now imagine if that 3D scan of your entire body that you have uploaded to this AI gets then sold to some third party or just straight hacked. I mean, what happens then? Next thing you know, your friends are calling, telling you, “Hey, I really enjoyed your last movie on pornhub.”
Ryan: [00:16:47] Its Onlyfans, Bo. Okay. But I mean I get your point. It really is eye opening to consider that this technology is just in its infancy and how much it can already do. But in fairness, I don’t think this is all doom and gloom. There are still some really good things. And as we talked about before, I think the whole idea of personalized custom content is pretty cool and exciting and what consumers really want these days. Plus the fact that AI will be used to create even more realistic and immersive special effects will be very interesting to watch as a as a viewer and a consumer over the years.
Bo: [00:17:23] Yeah, and you’re right. And then you know, there’s also just some of like the data that this can provide. I mean, the analysis that of data, the filmmakers will be invaluable. It will. It’s going to help streamline the entire pre-production process. It’ll help you with casting, with location scouting, storyboarding. I’m sure it’ll be used with distribution. It’ll help analyze audience preferences, help make, you know, help all the studios kind of make informed decisions about what specific projects to greenlight the most effective way to market them. It is going to give a lot of information and data that’s just simply not available. Now, we’re kind of more subject to guesswork.
Ryan: [00:18:07] I’ve seen that many film studios are already using AI to promote their films more efficiently because it has the ability to analyze every single possible variable from the success of past movies, demographics, popularity of certain actors in different marketplaces, basically telling you everything you could possibly want to know to give your project the best chance of success. It’s pretty amazing.
Bo: [00:18:32] Yeah. I mean, I do think AI will definitely be used routinely to kind of predict the success of future projects and potential box office earnings. Now, whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, if you are using a computer to tell you what is most likely to be successful versus just something on its artistic merit, that’s a whole nother question. But you’re right. I’ve read that 20th Century Fox is already using it. Warner Brothers is already using it. I’ve certainly, you know, read a lot about the concern of the Screen Actors Guild. And as I was reading some of their concerns, I thought it was really interesting to learn that AI is already being used to speed up the casting process. I mean, this is kind of crazy. It’s the AI can actually generate and conduct virtual auditions for different roles. So basically what happens is a filmmaker or the writer, they input the qualities they’re looking for in a character, [and] they input the description of that character. The AI then analyzes its database of every possible actor and simulates what that actor would look like in that role, and then spits out what it believes would be the perfect fit for that role.
Ryan: [00:19:52] Wow. And if that exists, what would stop them from just creating brand new digital actors from scratch.
Bo: [00:19:59] Or just, you know, taking older actors and de-aging them so they can play younger roles or resurrecting dead actors for that matter. You even see a situation where you have the same movie featuring different actors in when it plays in different regions because of their popularity in certain areas. So I mean, it really is mind blowing. And it’s not just about, you know, movies and television. I’m certain that this has to be kind of affecting the music industry, too. I mean, that’s more your bailiwick. I mean, what do you see?
Ryan: [00:20:33] Oh, for sure. Look, it’s not going to be as prevalent as it is in film and television, but it’s pretty wild. You know, just like the current negotiations that’s going on with WGA and the AMPTP, when we talk about AI in music, there’s going to be a need for a lot of standards and protections between the DSPs, you know, Spotify, YouTube, Google and the creators, the record labels, the publishing companies, the artists. Now I will say something. The music industry has never been an early adopter of emerging technology. [Laughter] You know, in fact, we are still dealing with the consequences of how poorly they handled Napster and downloading. You know, instead of embracing this new technology and predicting where the industry was going, they said, let’s let’s sue our biggest fans.
Bo: [00:21:27] I do remember that that was that was not handled well. So why is that, though, you think? Why is it that the music industry has had such a hard time embracing new technology?
Ryan: [00:21:40] Well, I think first, to be fair, hindsight is, of course, 20-20. But also consider this the recorded music industry is over 120 years old. And for a vast majority of the time, over 100 years, they relied on the sale of physical products as the whole lifeblood of that industry.
Bo: [00:22:01] Sure.
Ryan: [00:22:02] And new new technology that did away with this fundamental function could have never even been imagined.
Bo: [00:22:09] Certainly it was not anticipated.
Ryan: [00:22:11] Exactly. So I mean, labels sold stuff and they thought that they were always going to sell something. Now, in today’s world, they’re content creators, technology partners, and so they sell far less stuff and they earn some subscription and ad revenue.
Bo: [00:22:25] I mean, I think in a lot of ways that’s that’s not a lot different than the modern film studios because when was the last time, for example, you bought a VHS tape or a DVD or a Blu ray?
Ryan: [00:22:38] That’s a good that’s a good point. I mean, the future of the entertainment industries will 100% happen online and in the digital space and more than likely involve some aspect of AI. You know, take the new Drake and The Weeknd collaboration “Heart on my Sleeve.” Okay, that’s pretty good. But the song was created by generative AI and uploaded anonymously using AI to mimic the unique vocal stylings of both Drake and The Weeknd. Now, you would think, like I said, this this song sounds like it could suck. It’s AI, but as the kids would say, it’s a certified banger. Okay? [Laughter] In fact, it received over 20 million combined streams and views across Spotify, YouTube, TikTok, all before being taken down by Universal, the label that owns the rights to Drake in The Weeknd.
Bo: [00:23:32] Well, I mean, I know you and I have talked about that before in other podcasts about copyright, takedown rights for creators of a song. But how would that even work here? But Universal didn’t actually create any aspect of that song. They can’t be considered the creator. They wouldn’t even be considered the copyright owner.
Ryan: [00:23:51] You’re right. And that’s and they couldn’t rely on that because of that. You would have to fall back on that unauthorized use of likeness in this case, voice misappropriation, etcetera. But interestingly enough, for the parts created exclusively by AI, I don’t think anybody would actually have a valid claim to copyright ownership, not even the anonymous creator or poster.
Bo: [00:24:13] Well, if no one actually could be considered the owner, that’s got to create some major issues, right?
Ryan: [00:24:20] Definitely. I mean, you think about it, the song had over 20 million streams. That means that it absolutely, undoubtedly earned some serious live performance royalties. But if the poster is truly anonymous, the DSPs say that the AI wrote it. Who actually gets paid? Well, it’s not Universal. And more likely than not, the money is going to get earmarked, sit in a royalty account and then after enough time has passed, Spotify, YouTube, TikTok will all just say, “Well, since no one else is taking it, I’ll help myself to it.”
Bo: [00:24:55] Well, I mean, so I think what you’re saying basically is that AI created works aren’t likely to get you paid.
Ryan: [00:25:03] I mean. No, no. They will if you’re using it as a tool in your arsenal, your time is money. So if you can make yourself more productive and you still control that creative process, then sure. But nobody wins in this “Hearts on my Sleeve” scenario.
Bo: [00:25:18] You know, that reminds me of something you told me that you heard one time, which is people were talking about AI and the impact it could have on the legal industry. And I think someone told you, “look, the issue is not that AI is going to replace lawyers. It’s lawyers that know how to use AI are going to replace lawyers that don’t know how to use AI.”
Ryan: [00:25:42] Exactly. I mean, think about it this way. It’s like a lawyer in like 1995 being like, “I’m never going to send an email.”
Bo: [00:25:51] Been there.
Ryan: [00:25:53] Good luck with that because you got to do it now.
Bo: [00:25:56] Well, mean. It seems like everyone is kind of freaking out about ChatGPT and Midjourney, but it is important to remember that there are thousands of AI tools already out there.
Ryan: [00:26:11] Oh, for sure.
Bo: [00:26:11] And in development, I mean, I heard rumors that Google is afraid to even release their music generation AI. Do you know anything about that?
Ryan: [00:26:21] Yeah, they’ve got one called MusicLM. You know, you’ve got Midjourney, you’ve got Dall-e, you’ve got ChatGPT, you’ve got all these other generative AI. There isn’t really one that makes good sounding produced music. Even this “Heart’s on my Sleeve” was like a revoice or like the guy sang it and then had it made it in the style of Drake. But there’s this technology that Google has that is going to be able to produce a whole beat, a music background, vocals, all this stuff. But right now the problem is that it sounds like absolute sh**, you know? But if it does get good, then you run into some issues of how did you train that model? Did you put in all this copyrighted work and said, “Here’s what I want you to do?” Because then you might actually have some copyright infringement problems.
Bo: [00:27:10] So it’s essentially the musical equivalent of what we talked about earlier, being able to create an entire movie from scratch with no no actors, no director, no one else’s involvement. Same thing for music. You don’t need the actual singer in it. It’ll just be able to create all of the music from scratch.
Ryan: [00:27:30] Absolutely. And if you don’t believe me, Google Frank Sinatra singing Lil Jon’s “Get Low.” It’s pretty amazing.
Bo: [00:27:40] Well, to me, thinking about all of these issues, the most mind blowing part of all of it is we have absolutely no idea what the true limits of AI really are. We have no idea where this technology is actually going and the impact it’s going to have over the next several years as it grows and expands. We’re really think about it like this. We’re basically at the “pong level.” So if if you saw Pong for the first time and then tried to predict the future of video gaming based on that, it just couldn’t be done.
Ryan: [00:28:24] I mean, it’s kind of like finding a better entertainment law firm than the Bowen Law Group. It just it just can’t be done.
Bo: [00:28:29] Exactly, Ryan. Which is why we’re the most successful lawyers in the history of human jurisprudence … Allegedly.
Ryan: [00:28:38] That’s our show for today. Thanks for listening to the legal mastery of the highly intelligent and easily most attractive true legal outlawyers in Savannah. And remember the only lawyers in the free world who have never lost a single case? …
Bo: [00:28:49] Allegedly.
Ryan: [00:28:49] To continue to receive free edge-of-your-seat legal anecdotes, mind blowing takes on hot topics and a general masterclass in lawesomeness, please head over to bowenschmidt.com/podcast and see all the platforms you can subscribe. Oh, and you let me finish this time.
Bo: [00:29:05] That’s what the AI told me to do.