AI in Hollywood: Sheryl Crow, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ridley Scott express fears and hopes for the technology


Artificial intelligence has dominated headlines in Hollywood this year, as its growing usage was a key issue in the strikes by writers and actors over the summer and fall.

Many stars like Simon Cowell, Sheryl Crow and Justine Bateman have expressed their fears about the new technology, worrying it could hinder creativity and livelihoods for the entertainment industry.

Others, like Howie Mandel and Jack Osbourne, have started to embrace its usage, seeing it as an opportunity to do more.

Wherever they fall, everyone is hoping to see regulations put in place on the technology. Read ahead to learn where stars land on the AI debate dominating Hollywood.

WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)?

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell told Fox News Digital he is “personally not a fan of” AI. ( Rachel Luna/Getty Images)

The “America’s Got Talent” judge told Fox News Digital in September, “I personally am not a fan of it.”

Cowell continued, explaining why artists like Queen, David Bowie and Elton John have a lasting, authentic impact, by noting that “their songs, I think, are as good today as they were then. So, anything which is faking it is for me a bit of a problem.”

For Cowell, creativity is key, and he does not deny that the process can be a difficult one.

“I think songs, honestly, are the most important part of anyone’s career,” he said. “I think for artists, songwriters right now, it’s tough.” 

AI-GENERATED SONG USING DRAKE AND THE WEEKND VOCALS GOES VIRAL, RAISING LEGAL CONCERNS

Howie Mandel

Howie Mandel smiling and posing on the red carpet

Howie Mandel told Fox News Digital he’s “embracing AI. I have AI in my office.” (John Salangsang/Variety via Getty Images)

Cowell’s fellow “AGT” judge is one of the stars happily utilizing AI.

Mandel told Fox News Digital in September, “I am embracing AI. I have AI in my office.”

He continued, explaining, “I work with a company that is creating a proto, they’re called, they’re a hologram company that does it. And I love the ability to do more things than I can do and be in more places than I can be with the use of technology.”

The comedian does want some regulation when it comes to AI, though.

“I think as long as we have the right to kind of own and profit off of images and material that we have either prompted or looks like us, then there is no problem with AI,” he said.

Mandel also drew the comparison between AI and other technologies that shaped entertainment, like television, saying “I think AI is what television became.”

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Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow said her concerns over AI inspired her new album, “Evolution.” (Michael Loccisano/WireImage)

At her induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in November, Crow said her new album, “Evolution,” was inspired by her concerns over AI.

She explained that “when the whole AI thing started coming out, particularly with the Beatles thing, and also having witnessed how AI is being used in my art form, I wrote a song about it.” 

She continued, “I was terrified, and where do I go when I’m terrified? I go to my studio,” adding, “And I found myself writing just one thing after another, and lo and behold, I had 10 songs.”

Crow’s comment on the Beatles likely refers to the release of their final song, “Now and Then,” which features performances by the deceased members of the band, John Lennon and George Harrison. 

BEATLES RELEASING FINAL SONG ‘NOW AND THEN’ WITH JOHN LENNON VOCALS: ‘QUITE EMOTIONAL,’ SAYS PAUL MCCARTNEY

Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney

A final Beatles song, “Now and Then,” released this year by the surviving members of the band, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, features performances from the late John Lennon and George Harrison that utilized some AI to include them on the song. (Getty Images)

Crow spoke about the integration of AI into music during her Nov. 2 appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

“I did a session the other day and this young songwriter had this incredible song, but she needed a guy to sing on it so that she could pitch it to male singers in Nashville,” the “All I Wanna Do” singer-songwriter recalled. “Paid $5, put in John Mayer’s name and she played it for me. There’s no way you could tell the difference and it just blew my mind. And it didn’t just sound like him, I mean, like his inflections.”

“For me, art is like soul, it’s attached to the soul,” she said. “So when you get into something that’s so much more advanced than our brains are at this point, it takes the soul out of it, you know, and it’s scary.”

‘LOIS & CLARK’ STAR DEAN CAIN ADMITS CURIOSITY IN USING AI FOR SCRIPTS

Jack Osbourne

Close up of Jack Osbourne

Jack Osbourne told Fox News Digital he does use programs like ChatGPT, but thinks things could get “really bad” if AI goes unregulated. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Osbourne, reality TV star and son of Ozzy Osbourne, is another one of the few stars curious about using AI. 

“I use it. I use it all the time. You know, we use it a ton for graphics and for stuff with the podcasts,” he said in an interview with Fox News Digital.

The 38-year-old said he uses programs like ChatGPT “as a foundation. I don’t ever use it as like a finished product, but I’ll punch something, and I’m like, ‘Oh cool. This is a good starting piece.’”

“I think it, it could get really s—ty. It could get really bad,” he added, referring to his concerns about regulation. 

Osbourne also noted he would advise his kids to “Go learn to be a carpenter or a tiler or a framer or something if you want to be creative, because AI can’t do that.”

WHAT IS CHATGPT?

Kevin Sorbo & Sam Sorbo

Sam Sorbo and Kevin Sorbo pose together

Kevin Sorbo and his wife Sam Sorbo expressed their fears about AI, saying he felt the writers’ and actors’ strikes were necessary. (Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

“Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” star Kevin Sorbo and his wife, actress Sam Sorbo, are not excited by the idea of artificial intelligence being used in Hollywood.

“I’ve always wanted to do a movie of Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando, apparently now I’ll be able to,” Kevin told Fox News Digital in August during the strike. “But, I don’t think it would stand up in court that they could get away with that without paying the people.”

He continued, “We have to fight it… It’s frustrating. I don’t want to be on strike, but I understand the concept behind it, and hopefully it will get solved sooner than later.”

The couple spoke during the height of the actors and writers strike, and Sam agreed with her husband’s comments. 

“I think AI is extraordinarily dangerous,” she said. “It’s not regulated, and I don’t know if they even know how to regulate it, because it’s so stealthy. And, you know, my daughter’s an artist, and there’s a big uproar in the art community because AI can reproduce any art with impunity and do whatever it wants to the art.”

“And this is what we are struggling with as actors as well. If they can just recreate this [gesturing towards Kevin] and make it do or say anything that they want, that’s a very dangerous proposition.”

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Justine Bateman

Justine Bateman soft smiles at the Toronto International Film Festival wearing large hoop earrings

Justine Batemen told Fox News Digital “AI has no place in Hollywood at all.” (Emma McIntyre/SHJ2021)

“Family Ties” star Bateman has been a vocal opponent against AI’s use in entertainment.

“I think AI has no place in Hollywood at all. To me, tech should solve problems that humans have,” Batemen told Fox News Digital in May. “Using ChatGPT or any … software that’s using AI to write screenplays, using that in place of a writer is not solving a problem. We don’t have a lack of writers. We don’t have a lack of actors. We don’t have a lack of directors. We don’t have a lack of talented people.”

“The use of AI makes me sad because I feel like it’s … getting away from being human,” she explained.

Bateman also believes that AI poses a monetary concern, one rooted in greed.

“Incredible amounts of money are made off of our work. Incredible profits are made off of our work. But what if you could make even greater profit? What if you could get rid of the pesky overhead of paying for the directors and the actors and the writers and the locations, the production, the post-production? What if you just get rid of all of that? Can you imagine how much larger your profit could be? That’s the road we’re going down,” Bateman said.

BACKGROUND ACTORS FEAR BEING TAKEN ‘ADVANTAGE OF’ BY AI, AS UNION AND STUDIO NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE TO STALL

Christopher Nolan

"Oppenheimer" director Christopher Nolan is seen in Paris

Christopher Nolan said AI researchers he has spoken to compare the impact of AI to the world-changing work of Robert Oppenheimer, the subject of his critically acclaimed film “Oppenheimer.” (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

“Oppenheimer” director Christopher Nolan told Fox News Digital in July that “A lot of the AI researchers I talk to right now, they see this as their – they refer to it as the Oppenheimer moment.”

“There’s a lot of fear in the film industry right now about how AI is going to impact things. The reality is it’s already being used and has been used for years, and that will continue to develop. But a lot of attention needs to be paid to these issues, particularly as it relates to artists’ rights, copyrights and things like that,” the “Inception” director added.

“I think that that work, and the unions in particular are doing that work right now, and that’ll stand us in good stead. Ultimately, it’s a tool that has to be viewed as a tool and not allowed to take over the notion of responsibility,” he explained.

ROBIN WILLIAMS’ DAUGHTER, AND TOM HANKS, KEIRA KNIGHTLEY AMONG STARS FIGHTING AGAINST AI

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Julia Louis-Dreyfus standing at podium delivering speech

Julia Louis-Dreyfus said she used ChatGPT to write her acceptance speech for the WSJ. Magazine Innovator Awards. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for WSJ. Magazine Innovators Awards)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus noticed AI’s creative limitations when she read a speech she said she wrote with ChatGPT, which confused her with Julia Roberts.

“Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed guests, and fellow investors, today is a moment of profound gratitude and reflection for me as I accept the great honor of being recognized as the investor of the year by Wall Street Journal,” she said to laughter at the WSJ. Magazine 2023 Innovator Awards in November.

Louis-Dreyfus continued, “Reflecting on this milestone, I am reminded of the unwavering support of my family and the unyielding dedication of my team that has been the driving force behind my investment strategies and my performances in ‘Erin Brokovich,’ ‘Pretty Women’ and ‘Mystic Pizza.’”

The former “Seinfeld” star concluded her speech, “In the end, folks, it’s the humans who do the innovating and the entertaining.”

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Ridley Scott

Close up of Ridley Scott

Ridley Scott, director of sci-fi classics like “Alien” and “Blade Runner,” is terrified about AI technology running away with society. (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

In an interview with Rolling Stone promoting his film “Napoleon,” Ridley Scott was asked if artificial intelligence worried him, and the answer was an emphatic yes.

“We have to lock down AI. And I don’t know how you’re gonna lock it down,” he told the outlet. “They have these discussions in the government, ‘How are we gonna lock down AI?’ Are you f—ing kidding? You’re never gonna lock it down. Once it’s out, it’s out.” 

The “Gladiator” director was also asked about AI in relation to the recent Hollywood strikes, where use of the technology was a key sticking point in negotiations. 

“They really have to not allow this, and I don’t know how you can control it,” he said.

He added, “There’s something non-creative about data. You’re gonna get a painting created by a computer, but I like to believe – and I’m saying this without confidence – it won’t work with anything particularly special that requires emotion or soul. With that said, I’m still worried about it.”



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