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Netflix's AI Anime Is Stirring Major Industry Backlash

By Megan Peters,


Another day, another AI controversy. It seems like social media cannot get away from artificial tech no matter how hard it tries. Of course, artists are feeling that deep in their bones as AI-generated artwork has become a hot topic in the past year. Now, Netflix has put the situation center stage with a new anime, and it turns out industry leaders are sounding off online about the experiment.

For those who may be out of the loop, let's catch you up. If you did not know, Netflix has announced a new anime called Dog & The Boy which will use AI-generated art. The technology is being used to create sceneries and backgrounds in response to alleged labor shortages in the anime industry.

"As an experimental effort to help the anime industry, which has a labor shortage, we used image generation technology for the background images of all three-minute video cuts," Netflix Japan shared on Twitter.

You can imagine what kind of response this post earned, right? It didn't take long for the post to draw ire and criticism from everyone from fans to industry experts. After all, AI-generated art is hardly embraced by artists in the entertainment space, and that goes doubly for those working in anime. There isn't so much a shortage of artists in the anime field as there is a shortage on living wages, so burnout keeps studios on the hunt for fresh talent.

After all, a report in 2021 stunned fans globally when it revealed entry animators in anime were often living on $200 USD a month. Even key animators with years of experience earn as little as $3,400 USD if they are very lucky (via Vice ). This minute pay is coupled with strict overtime and insane scheduling. In the past, animators have raised health and safety concerns about how badly anime workers are overworked. So instead of solving the industry's root issue, Netflix's experimental anime it putting a band-aid on a bleeding wound.

As you can see below, the Internet is hardly pleased with this new series as calls for a boycott are going viral. Now, fans will have to wait and see how this experiment impacts the industry as a whole... but it cannot be good.

What do you make of this latest Netflix controversy...? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @ MeganPetersCB .

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