Disney has formed a task force to study how artificial intelligence (AI) can be used in its entertainment output – as Hollywood continues to strike in protest at the technology interfering with the industry. 

The news comes as the entertainment giant currently has multiple job openings for AI and machine learning (ML) experts. Similar to the job postings that Netflix listed recently.

The group of experts was formed earlier this year and hopes to create a range of AI applications that can be used in-house, according to a Reuters report that spoke to serveral internal sources. 

One source told the publication that major entertainment corporations are having to harness AI or fear the risk of falling behind the curve. 

Josep Bori, GlobalData thematic research director, previously told Verdict that the media industry “is going to be significantly impacted by generative AI”.

“The large population of supporting and background actors as well as extras could be entirely replaced by software,” Bori said.

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Adding: “Further, in the long run, it is not unthinkable that movie studies would cultivate the image of fully AI generated actors, doing away with the need to pay image rights to those famous human actors.”

Disney’s AI vision covers the entirety of their company – including its theme parks, movie studio and advertising team. 

In a job advert for a senior AI engineer, Disney describes wanting “someone who wants to shape the next generation of creative and production technology and directly help drive innovation across our cinematic pipelines and theatrical experiences”.

The use of generative AI to replace Hollywood’s actors and writers has been the topic of many debates and discussions within the industry.

In May, 11,500 members of the Writers Guild of America went on strike to demand new rules over how studios use AI in film and television writing as they negotiate new a new contract with major studios.

Global investment in AI fell substantially last year, according to GlobalData's deals database.

According to research firm GlobalData, the value of AI deals plummeted to $72.9bn last year, a dramatic drop from $127.2bn in 2021.

Investment had been steadily growing since 2019 which saw $58.4bn invested into the market. This increased in 2020, where it totalled $83.4bn.

The US topped the rankings for the most active AI job postings over the last 12 months, according to GlobalData’s jobs analytics database.

In the last 12 months, the US recorded 17546 active job postings for AI, much further than India who came second in the rankings with 4,986 job listings.

The UK came fifth in the global list, totalling 1,343 active job listings for AI positions over the last 12 months.