Yamazaki on AI



Returning home with Godzilla


Director Takashi Yamazaki (59) of “Godzilla-1.0” (minus one), which won Asia’s first visual effects award at the 96th Academy Awards, returned home from Los Angeles, where the award ceremony was held, on the night of the 12th, and arrived at Haneda Airport. A press conference was held to commemorate the award.


Page 7 = Thoughts on AI, Page 29 = Surprise for the Director Director Yamazaki said, “The Visual Effects Award selects the best from among the elaborate VFX (visual effects) with huge budgets. For Hollywood, it is a sacred place. “He opened this up to us in this sanctuary. I felt the depth of his heart, his confidence that no matter what we did, he would not waver, and his warmth as he kindly listened to my poor English speech.”

(Atsushi Ohara, photo by Tatsuya Shimada)

‘Video AI created by humans cannot be replaced”

Customers are happy with the “grudge”

Godzilla-1.0 Directed by Takashi Yamazaki


The latest AI technology, which attracted attention with its conversational AI (artificial intelligence) “ChatGPT,”is also having an impact on Hollywood movie production. Director Takashi Yamazaki of “Godzilla-1.0,”who has been active in the world of VFX (visual effects) that combines live action and CG etc. Director Takashi Yamazaki (second from left) who won the Visual Effects Award at the 96th Academy Awards = 10 Japan, USA, Los Angeles, Reuters In an interview with the press just before the awards ceremony where he was the first Japanese person to receive the Visual Effects Award, he also talked about his thoughts on the latest AI.


“From the way I feel when I’m using AI right now, I can make amazing pictures, but it’s kind of disgusting.” Mr. Yamazaki says this about the images created by AI. Although he says there is a possibility that AI will be used in the future, “I don’t think it will be for a while.”

Sense of another creature


In the world of robots and CG, a phenomenon called the “uncanny valley”has been talked about. When created things begin to resemble humans, people feel a sense of familiarity, but at a certain point, this rapidly changes to disgust.


Mr. Yamazaki said that the uncanny valley that confronts AI “cannot be put into words,” and that the images produced by AI “feel like they were made by another living thing, like a cow.”


“A life form with completely different sensibilities has learned a lot about humans, and says, ‘You guys will like this,’ and comes up with an amazing picture, but it’s amazing because their sensibilities are fundamentally different. But it feels weird.”


Still, with the latest technology, some works are emerging that are overcoming the uncanny valley that has stood in the way of the CG world for decades. An example of this is the movie “Gemini Man,”in which Will Smith appears rejuvenated using digital technology.

Also an important tool


“Due to the extraordinary speed of evolution, one day we may realize that it has become one of our important tools. In extreme cases, it is possible that we will no longer have a job.” Mr. Yamazaki says so. “I want to continue to be a person who can make decisions. If I can make a decision by looking at a picture, then I can move on to the next step.”


As AI evolves, how should humans face it? Mr. Yamazaki emphasizes the importance of the process by which humans seriously create things. “I think that the grudge that is put into something that people have worked so hard to create will ultimately make customers happy.”


Regarding the video production company he works for, Shirogumi, Mr. Yamazaki says, “It’s a company that really values the warmth of handmade products.” However, he says that images created by humans “will not be easily replaced (by AI).”


“After a lot of handmade work and a lot of discussion, the final product has been very well received. I believe that people’s feelings are reflected in images. I want to cherish that.”

(Los Angeles = Daisuke Igarashi)