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9 Story & Brown Bag Films Launch Global Guidelines for Generative AI Use in Animated Television Production & Development

9 Story Media Group and Brown Bag Films are pleased to launch their initial guidelines for using global generative AI in animated television development and production. 

Technology has always been a core pillar on our productions, helping to facilitate talented artists and animators to achieve high quality animation. As we navigate through the fast-evolving use of AI, we must maintain rigorous standards for data privacy, security, and the ethical use of AI within our TV productions pipeline. 

As a studio that creates Intellectual Property (IP), we also must respect other IP in the market. As such, we will not use AI for Scriptwriting, nor will we use Generative AI that has been trained on existing copyright material in the public domain e.g. Midjourney. Similarly, will not use AI Voice Cloning on any of our broadcast TV commissions. 

We believe that AI is a productivity tool to assist our artists and is not here to replace talented artists and storytellers. Any use of AI on productions will be transparently shared with our Clients and Staff in advance of a production starting. 

We encourage all animation studios, broadcasters and funding agencies to issue their own AI guidelines or policy. As an industry we need complete transparency on the use of AI in production.

Cathal Gaffney

Managing Director, Brown Bag Films/Chief Operating Officer, 9 Story Media Group

Please see our 9 Story and Brown Bag Films Global Guidelines for Generative AI Use in Animated Television Development and Productions shared below.

Global Guidelines for Generative AI Use in Animated Television Development and Production 
Version 2, 15 May 2024 

Across our animation studios in Dublin, Toronto, and Bali, Brown Bag Films have always aimed to produce the highest quality animation and set new standards for every show. Connecting with our young audiences through storytelling, and animation, is a human and emotional endeavor. Brown Bag Films have always embraced technology as a core pillar of our studio’s productions and welcome the adaptation of innovative AI technology. We aim to outline our initial guidelines regarding generative AI use, sharing it transparently with our clients, partners, staff, and the animation community. 

BBF recognizes the importance of copyright and the respect for others' copyrights. We believe that all generative AI tools currently on the market are trained on copyrighted material, and much of the 'Art' created is no different than using pirated software. Therefore, we commit to not using generative AI tools trained on public domain or third-party copyrighted materials for what you see and hear on screen in any of our productions.

This commitment is also important for BBF as there is no copyright in work 'created' by a computer. BBF views AI as a productivity tool to assist, not replace artists or other creators. BBF places the artist first, using AI to enhance efficiencies and replace repetitive tasks, not jobs. 

In development, we will neither publish nor pitch to a client/partner any art or text created by BBF from generative AI tools like Midjourney/Dall-E and Chat GPT. We will ask that materials pitched or provided to us from outside sources do not include materials created by generative AI tools, or that such materials are clearly disclosed if used and we will ensure that if we proceed with any further work on such projects, we do so in a manner that is consistent with this policy. 

On BBF productions, we will comply with the requirements of all applicable collective agreements (SAG/AFTRA/WGA/WGC/ACTRA/Equity/WGGB, Etc.). We share the concerns of talented writers regarding AI scriptwriting and of voice-over artists on text-to-speech voice cloning tools. We do not wish to replace or reduce the valued creative involvement of individuals engaged in our projects or impact their ability to make a living. Any use of generative AI technology in productions will be transparently shared with clients, staff and contributors in advance. 

We expect all staff to adhere to these guidelines, and we will ensure that any third-party contractors engaged will not use generative AI, with any use of AI on productions requiring our specific approval. 

We anticipate AI playing a significant role in assisting the studios in areas like predictive budgeting/scheduling, business service chatbots, animation clean-up, or lip sync. 

Recognizing the rapid pace of AI development and the industry's efforts to address ethical and copyright considerations, it is impossible to codify every possible use of AI in productions. We expect to revise these guidelines as needed. An internal AI Council is in place to guide further updates through regular reviews.

Ethical Use and Transparency in AI Implementation

  • We commit to being full transparent with our clients, staff and partners regarding the extent and nature of AI involvement in our projects.

  • We will adapt mandatory induction, regular training, and awareness programs for our staff on the ethical use of AI in animation.

Data Privacy and Security

  • We will adhere to stringent data privacy and security standards when using any AI system/data.

  • Compliance with local data protection laws and regulations is a priority.

Intellectual Property and Copyright

  • We commit to not using generative AI tools trained on public domain or third-party copyrighted materials for what you see and hear on screen in any of our productions. 

  • AI-generated content will align with our copyright principles, ensuring no infringement on others' copyrights.

Diversity and Inclusion

  • AI-trained data models will be carefully reviewed for biases. Our AI implementations will be culturally sensitive and inclusive, reflecting BBF values.

AI Governance

  • AI's role will remain in the background, ensuring what is seen and heard in our productions is created by artists.

  • We will comply with industry standards to ensure respect for copyright material.

Adaptability and Continuous Improvement

  • Recognizing the rapid development of AI, we will revise these guidelines at least every six months.

  • The BBF AI Council will be responsible for the continuous update of the guidelines, focusing on ethical, copyright, and technological reviews.

Approval of AI Usage

  • Any use of generative AI in a production or project at BBF will require prior approval from our internal AI Council.

  • Post-approval, the use of generative AI tools will be regularly monitored.

  • AI usage for business services or corporate applications will follow the current software approval process through IT.

These guidelines, and the information contained within, is owned by Brown Bag Films. © Brown Bag Films

Rhya Tamasauskas

Marketing Director, Social Media and Corporate Communications

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