From Paint to Pixels: Digital Bridge Experts Assess AI Impact on Creative Industries

ASTANA – One of the Digital Bridge Forum’s panel sessions in Astana gathered experts to address the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the creative industries’ landscape.       

Timur Bekmambetov, Yernar Kurmashev, Ernist Umetaliyev, Mikhail Bychanok, and Olzhas Baimagambetov. Photo credit: The Astana Times.

Timur Bekmambetov,  famous film director and producer, emphasized that this is the right moment to “educate AI systems with respect for its creators.” 

“An artificial avatar can look, talk and sound like me, and may even enter relationships with people just like me,” he said.  

Speaking about the ongoing development of the AI system that emerged before all – the voice generator, he mentioned that “today, no one can determine whether AI was used or not.”  

“It is hard to deal with security. It is now more relevant not to create an algorithm that produces voices, but the one that recognizes which of them are real and which are fake. It would be much more useful. Therefore, we need to develop recognition mechanisms,” said Bekmambetov. 

Mikhail Bychanok, the founder of the MediaCube financial app for YouTubers, highly appreciated the country’s progress in emerging industries driven by the Astana Hub International Technopark of IT startups and Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC). 

“Today, our company works with creators from 90 states. This year, we have made nearly $130 million. After researching the country’s legislation, we have now decided to develop in Kazakhstan. It will also allow us to work with regions worldwide,” said Bychanok.

He suggested that YouTube creators focus on regularity and use relevant features in content production.  

“It is necessary to publish content at the same time, on the same day of the week for at least three months. Keep doing this even if there aren’t many subscribers. This needs to be done systematically,” he said. 

“In 2020, YouTube launched a new format called shorts, which is actively promoted by the platform itself. This section has 70 billion views daily,” he added.

In Bychanok’s opinion, along with the monetization rules, YouTube will have to learn how to differentiate content produced by AI and by people.  

“I don’t believe yet that AI will ever be able to make a full-length film that will be shown in the cinema. In any case, it will be a collaboration. People should just learn how to manage new technologies,” he said. 

According to Yernar Kurmashev, the executive producer and founder of Astana Film Fund, “the forum was organized by the people who launched Kazakhstan’s digitalization.” 

“The Astana Hub International Technopark of IT startups provides significant tax preferences. All creators need this support,” he said. 

Speaking about multiculturalism in creative industries, Olzhas Baimagambetov, the head of music projects at the VK partner service, stressed that Kazakhstan’s creative industries have a “Western orientation and an eastern mentality.” 

With more than 40 billion views and nearly 40 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, Ernist Umetaliyev, the founder of the DBillions YouTube project brand, said “it is important to start developing copyright law in Central Asia.” 

The speakers also agreed on the need to introduce rational restrictions for children in the use of new technologies and create more progressive programs, which will expand educational opportunities for the younger generation. 

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