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Of Course Marvel Uses Artificial Intelligence

By Allyson Johnson | TV | June 21, 2023 |

By Allyson Johnson | TV | June 21, 2023 |


Marvel has just released its latest series, the Samuel L.Jackson led Secret Invasion. Focusing on the threat of a Skrull invasion and based on the popular comic book series, the six episodes will at least allow Jackson to further develop the enigmatic screen version of Nick Fury. However, what mainly stands out in the first episode are the opening credits. Shocking no one, they’re designed using artificial intelligence.

This should come as little surprise to those who have been following the insidious ways Marvel treats their artists. This is evident through reports of the studio running them ragged, allowing them to shoulder the punches when fans get angry over the use of VFX, and the cheapness of the overall look of films and TV shows such as Thor Love and Thunder, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and She-Hulk.

Now they’ve taken the next step in the efforts to kill cinema. The intro sequence was designed by Method Studios using artificial intelligence. In an interview with Polygon, the director and executive producer of the series, Ali Selim, blew smoke, stating that while he doesn’t fully grasp how artificial intelligence works, that low base of understanding was still enough to want to reach out to AI vendors.

During the interview, Selim mentions that he was “fascinated” at how AI managed to manifest the sense of foreboding he sought for the series. In an example of showing his ass, he said:

“We would talk to them about ideas and themes and words, and then the computer would go off and do something. And then we could change it a little bit by using words, and it would change.”

For anyone who has never worked with an editor, commissioned a piece of art, knows an artist, has gotten a tattoo, or maybe just lives under a rock, fun fact. Real people can do what he’s praising AI for, and they can do it better! That’s part of the collaboration process. Edits exist to ask for refinement, and artists and writers alike are adaptable in their ability to process requests and utilize their skills to produce a piece of work befitting the person commissioning it. All of what he’s saying is a big, vague way of admitting to not wanting to pay artists due to the labor that goes into it. To reiterate, AI art isn’t art.

Selim offers what could be seen as a soft defense by stating that the utilization of AI felt in theme with the nature of the show. I’ll bite, sure. Because yes, the reliance on AI and the ways in which it strips away quality work by original artists, diminishing and devaluing the effort and pains that goes into learning a craft, is very much similar to that of an alien invasion that’s happening in real-time.

It’s almost a metaphor for Marvel itself — this is what happens when overly processed products begin to replace actual art.