Here’s something Marty McFly didn’t see in the future: an “artificial intelligence actor” starring as the lead in a multimillion-dollar Hollywood film.
The film is (not surprisingly) a sci-fi feature called “b”, and reportedly has a budget of $70 million. It’s backed by Bondit Capital Media, which also financed the experimental biography film “Loving Vincent.”
So who is this fledgling Hollywood starlet? Her name is Erica and she’s the creation of Japanese scientists Hiroshi Ishiguro and Kohei Ogawa, who specifically built the robot for filming and trained her with “the principles of method acting.”
“In other methods of acting, actors involve their own life experiences in the role. But Erica has no life experiences,” says Sam Khoze, who is one of the film’s visual effects supervisors. “We had to simulate her motions and emotions through one-on-one sessions, such as controlling the speed of her movements, talking through her feelings and coaching character development and body language.”
“b” is about the story of a scientist who, upon discovering a grave error in their attempt to create the perfect human DNA, helps their AI creation (Erica) escape. There is still no confirmation on her lead counterpart as well as the director as of writing.
Filming for “b” is set to resume in Europe in 2021. Folks, welcome to the future.