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Guillermo del Toro says AI art used in film would be ‘an insult to life itself’

‘I consume and love art made by humans’

Guillermo del Toro sitting in a chair talking on stage at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation for a career retrospective. Photo: Dominik Bindl/Getty Images
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

On the surface, it appears that artificial intelligence generated art could turn creative disciplines upside down. Everyday people can use programs like DALL-E, Midjourney, and Free AI Art Generator to create images like human portraits, and even recreate the aesthetics of directors like Wes Anderson. Despite whatever promise AI might show for generating art, many of those leading the entertainment industry remain skeptical. Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro has even weighed in on the debate, and described AI art as “an insult to life itself,” quoting renowned Japanese film director and animator Hayao Miyazaki.

“I consume and love art made by humans. I am completely moved by that. And I am not interested in illustrations made by machines and the extrapolation of information,” del Toro said in an interview with Decider. He went on to mention great artists, like Miyazaki and the English comic book artist and illustrator Dave McKean, who similarly voiced concerns or doubts over the capabilities of AI art.

Del Toro is the mind behind some of cinema’s most fascinating and magical worlds. His most recent project is a reimagination of the fairy tale Pinocchio animated in stop-motion. Called Pinocchio, our Polygon review hailed the movie as “one of the great works of stop motion,” and is yet another touchstone in a remarkable career — a career that AI art will very likely never play a part in.