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news • 2 November 2023

Team Human

Profile picture of Saint Walker

Written by Saint John Walker

Dean of Industry Engagement

You’re not even close to baseline!”  - Blade Runner 2049 

In my first blog of this series, I mentioned that Escape is being pro-active about exploring AI, just like our industries, and we are firmly in the camp of ‘Team Human’. Engagement and experimentation are the way to go. Resilience and flexibility to new tech have always been part of the deal in the creative screen industries, with or without AI. 

Did you know it was around 40 years after the invention of the printing press that the first example of what we now think of as a ‘book’ emerged? We haven’t got the measure of AI yet. 

So, what are we doing about it? Well, stage one is sharing our experiences and offering some guardrails for students - our AI Working group has done just this.  As our collective knowledge grows it will change and it will never be set in stone but always in beta, always a moment in time. 

What do students need to know? Two things – firstly, the rules of engagement with AI within their academic studies, and secondly, that these guides will always be led by industry practice. As we say in our guidance for students, “jobs and processes have always changed and like so many other technologies AI will create different jobs- some we can't see yet. You’re lucky enough to be at an institution that works so closely with industry, so you’ll be taught the new processes and skills as they emerge.” Job roles will change gradually, not overnight. 

Our guidelines also point out the current flaws of AI (especially Large Language Models), and there are many. Imagine if your best friend regularly hallucinated and lied - you might not want them to help you write your essay, right? If your mate had ideas of gender roles and ethnicity based only on what they’d seen on the internet, rather than what we see in real life, you might consider them not to be the best source of ideas about diversity and representation in the characters for animation or games.  

A few months ago, we heard an anecdote about a student who swore they wouldn’t use AI anywhere in their work because they were scared of being accused of plagiarism. At Escape Studios we think that it’s a shame for students to bury their heads in the sand, which is why in the guidance we are recommending the adoption of ADR: ACKNOWLEDGE – DESCRIBE – REFERENCE. It's a useful framework to ensure you’re harnessing AI for all the right reasons and being ethical about it. 

At present, students can also join the AI Working group and help shape Escape Studios’ future!