Madonna Embraces AI Innovation Pioneering the Future of Entertainment with Text-to-Video Technology

Madonna integrates artificial intelligence into her concert visuals, featuring dynamic displays on large screens during performances of "La Isla Bonita." This reflects advancements seen in chatbots and image generators, paving the way for customizable storylines and endings in entertainment.

(Photo : Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA – MAY 27: Singer/actress Madonna performs onstage during her "Re-Invention" World Tour 2004 at The Great Western Forum, May 27, 2004 in Inglewood, California. The outfit she is wearing is designed by Christian LaCroix.
Integrating AI to Madonna’s Concerts
Madonna is at the forefront of embracing the next evolution of AI technology. During her concert tours, the iconic pop star incorporates moving images of swirling, sunset-tinted clouds on the massive arena screens behind her while performing the 1980s hit "La Isla Bonita."

To achieve this ethereal visual effect, Associated Press reported that Madonna has delved into a relatively unexplored realm of generative artificial intelligence: the text-to-video tool. By inputting phrases like "surreal cloud sunset" or "waterfall in the jungle at dawn," instant videos are generated.

This innovative use of AI technology follows in the footsteps of chatbots and still image-generators, with some enthusiasts suggesting that it could revolutionize entertainment by allowing audiences to customize storylines and endings. 

Also Read: More Than 70% of Musicians Worried About the Impact of AI on Music Industry, New Study Finds

OpenAI, known for developing ChatGPT, offered a glimpse into advanced text-to-video technology with their unreleased tool, Sora. Opting for a different solution, Madonna’s team tested a product from Runway, a New York-based startup renowned for its pioneering work in the field. 

Runway had introduced its first public text-to-video model in March, followed by an upgraded "Gen-2" version in June. 

Runway’s CEO, Cristóbal Valenzuela, emphasized that while some view these tools as magical, their most effective applications come from creative professionals seeking to enhance their digital editing workflows.

Valenzuela highlighted that Runway’s capabilities currently don’t extend to producing full-length documentaries. However, it can assist in enhancing background footage or b-roll, crucial elements for storytelling purposes.

He mentioned that this feature could potentially save significant time, estimating around a week’s worth of work. Many users utilize the tool to expedite tasks they previously completed manually.

Valenzuela added that Runway’s main clients include major players in the content creation industry, such as streaming platforms, production companies, post-production studios, visual effects firms, marketing teams, and advertising agencies.

Adopting AI Early
However, significant advancements are needed, and there are numerous ethical considerations to address along the way. For early adopters like Madonna, who has consistently pushed the boundaries of artistry, this exploration with AI represents more of an experimental endeavor. 

She opted for the unconventional route, rejecting an earlier version of the "La Isla Bonita" concert visuals that relied on traditional computer graphics to evoke a tropical ambiance.  Madonna’s team initially experimented with CGI but found it lacking in impact. They then turned to explore the potential of AI for their visuals.

Concerns are arising regarding copyright conflicts surrounding the datasets used to train AI systems for video and image creation. 

Both Runway and OpenAI withhold information about their data sources, leading to speculation about potential infringement of trademarked works. Moreover, there is apprehension about the possibility of video-making machines replacing human jobs and creativity in the future.

Related Article: AI-Generated Work Cannot be Copyrighted says US Judge as it Lacks Human Creation

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