in , ,

‘Secret Invasion’ Opening Credits Spark Debate Over Use Of AI, Director On The Defensive

‘Secret Invasion’ is a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) television miniseries created by Kyle Bradstreet for the streaming service Disney+, based on the Marvel Comics storyline of the same name. It stars Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and basically follows him and his allies, who attempt to thwart a Skrull invasion on Earth. The opening credits for this show, featuring a montage of abstract and swirling images that are said to represent the Skrulls’ ability to shapeshift, used AI generated images which brought the creators into huge controversy. Here’s what we know:

What did the director say about the opening credits of this ‘Secret Invasion’?

Ali Selim, the director and executive producer of the Disney+ miniseries ‘Secret Invasion’, keeps on publically defending the show’s controversial use of AI-generated art for its opening credits. Recently in an interview with Polygon, Selim explained that the use of AI art was intended to fit within the themes of the show. “The shape-shifting Skrulls are a perfect metaphor for the way that AI can be used to create fake content,” Selim said. “The opening credits are meant to be a bit unsettling and to make you question what’s real and what’s not.”

Selim also said that he was aware of the controversy surrounding the opening credits, but that he stood by his decision to use them. “I know that not everyone is going to love the AI opening credits,” Selim said. “But I believe that they’re artistically and creatively justified. I hope that people will eventually come to understand my vision.” Despite all the criticism Ali and the rest of the creators got for using this technique, Selim has voiced how confident he is in his decision. He also mentions being open to using AI for further projects, which really did not sit well with many people.

“We hope that people will see the AI opening credits as a metaphor for the way that disinformation can spread online. We’re not trying to promote any particular conspiracy theory, but we do want to explore the paranoia and distrust that is a hallmark of the Secret Invasion comic book storyline… We know that not everyone is going to love the AI opening credits, but we’re proud of what we created.”

Ali Selim

Why was the use of AI controversial for ‘Secret Invasion’?

The opening credits for ‘Secret Invasion’ were controversial in a number of ways including it’s use of AI-generated images, which has been seen as exploitative and lazy. Admittedly, Selim claimed ignorance of the process of AI-generated artwork and pointed at Method Studios as having done all the work using generative adversarial networks. The truth of the matter is that AI programs are often fed artwork of other artists in an attempt to duplicate their art styles, without the consent of the original artists because of which, the legality of AI-generated artwork is questioned. There’s also an ongoing debate on if it is morally appropriate to use this technique, as it is widely believed to be unfair to traditional and digital artists.

Jeff Simpson, a senior concept artist that worked on the ‘Secret Invasion’ TV show, expressed disappointment over the use of AI-generated art on Twitter. “I’m devastated,” Simpson said. “I believe AI to be unethical, dangerous and designed solely to eliminate artists’ careers.” Even DC Studios boss James Gunn has publicly rejected the use of AI-generated content for animated projects based on the DC Universe, calling the technique unoriginal and exploitive. Aside from this, WGA strikers have also spoken up about the dangers of AI taking over the jobs of talented artists in a race for cheap and unoriginal art to use in the entertainment industry.