Netflix 'Dog and Boy' AI film backgrounds cause controversy

Occurred: January 2023

Dog and Boy, a new short firm from Netflix Japan that uses AI to help generate its lavish background images and music, set off a storm about the impact of technology, specifically generative AI, on jobs.

In a media statement promoting the film, Netflix expressed its hopes that its use of AI would help future animation productions thanks to a current 'shortage of human resources in the animation industry.'

Gaming news site Kotaku pointed out, 'artists did not take this bullshit at face value,' slamming Netflix for devaluing the work of animators and freelancers generally, and trying to avoid paying them in this instance.  

Other people took issue with how Netflix only credited those who worked on the short as 'AI (+Human).' The credits go on to list Rinna Inc, an AI artwork company, and a handful of AI researchers, before listing a handful of AI researchers.'

The animation industry in Japan is notoriously underpaid.

Operator: Netflix Anime Creators Base; Rinna; WIT Studio
Developer: Netflix
Country: Japan
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Create film backgrounds
Technology: Text-to-image
Issue: Employment - jobs; Ethics/values
Transparency: Governance; Marketing

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: February 2023