In conversation, Kelly Carlin, Joely Fisher to talk AI’s impact on creative industries

Kelly Carlin and Joely Fisher
Carlin (left) & Fisher (right)

What does it mean to be a creative artist in a world of artificial intelligence? What dangers does the technology pose for fields like the film industry? These are questions Kelly Carlin and Joely Fisher are set to discuss at 10:45 a.m. today in the Amphitheater.

Carlin is an author, writer and producer with a long career working in the television and film industry. Fisher is an actor, director and author who also currently serves as the secretary-treasurer of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, or SAG-AFTRA.

Carlin said she is honored to be invited back to the Institution and she is looking forward to taking the Amp stage once again; previously, she’s spoken as part of the Institution’s weeks in partnership with the National Comedy Center, where she’s an advisory board member.

According to Carlin, today’s talk as part of the theme “The AI Revolution” will be a very personal conversation based on both speakers’ own stories and experiences.

“I think we’ll just be talking a little bit philosophically about what it means to be an artist and to have to deal with this technology,” she said. Carlin said the two will have a conversation about the threats that AI poses to the television and film industries, as well as potential ways that they can be ethically utilized.

Fisher is the half-sister of the late actor Carrie Fisher, Carlin is the daughter of comedian George Carlin; she’ll discuss her firsthand experience navigating the dangers of AI after the technology was used to reproduce her father’s name and likeness without her family’s permission after his death. She plans to issue a “cautionary tale” about the threats of artificial intelligence and wants Chautauquans to understand the gravity of this new technology.

Carlin believes that AI has the capacity to be used for good within the industry, but it must be used responsibly. To her, the biggest threats that AI poses to her industry are job loss and unauthorized consumption of intellectual property.

As she sees it, the way forward is to employ the technology in ethical ways in which people are able to give full and informed consent on how the technology is used, and are able to negotiate the compensation and terms in which their name and likeness are used.

Even amid the rise of AI, she believes she works in a space where technology and machines cannot replace humans. She said that she and Fisher will focus on the humanities; to her, the very core of that word shows that machines cannot replace or replicate their work.

“They do not have consciousness, they do not have sentience and they do not have experience. They cannot experience things,” Carlin said. “They can only accumulate information, and it is the human experience that every artist — whether it be a visual artist, or a performing artist, or a literary artist, any kind of artist — the art form itself is about sharing, connecting with and trying to unpack and explain the human experience. … Even though these machines might be able to put words in an order that they think represents some facsimile of what we’re asking from them, they are only going on the information that they have. They are not going on real, lived-in organic bodies that pulsate with consciousness (and) experience.”

Tags : AIartificial intelligenceCarrie FisherGeorge CarlinJoely FisherKelly Carlinmorning lectureMorning Lecture PreviewSAG-AFTRAScreen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

The author Julia Weber

Julia Weber is a rising junior in Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College where she is majoring in journalism and minoring in art history. Originally from Athens, Ohio, this is her first summer in Chautauqua and she is thrilled to cover the theater and dance performances. She serves as the features editor for Ohio University’s All-Campus Radio Network, a student-run radio station and media hub, and she is a former intern for Pittsburgh Magazine. Outside of her professional life, Julia has a newly adopted cat, Griffin, and she is an avid fan of live music and a dedicated ceramicist.