“From the beginning of my career, I have always paid attention to technological progress.”
These are the words of Sharon Elkabas, managing director of global talent agency MN2S, whose focus is now turning to artificial intelligence (AI).
Elkabas says AI will impact the talent industry in the years to come, and his goal is to stay ahead of the curve and be aware of emerging opportunities that employ its use.
After working in the talent industry for over 28 years, Elkabas has seen many technologies come and go. He ensured that MN2S moved into digital delivery earlier than other agencies, and adopted new technologies from the beginning.
“We were one of the first music distributors to embrace the digital revolution, and it was a decision that paid off for us in the long run.”
According to Sharon Elkabas, properly integrated new technology is a positive way to make work easier and better connect brands and businesses on a global scale.
Although artificial intelligence and machine learning have been in the background for years, they are now becoming mainstream and progress is being made rapidly every day.
Tools like DALL-E and ChatGPT are becoming increasingly popular. DALL-E is a deep learning model created by OpenAI company to generate digital images from language descriptions. In simple terms, this means that the user can type in just about any situation or image imaginable, and DALL-E will create the image in a matter of seconds.
The latter, ChatGPT, is what everyone seems to be talking about. Created by the company OpenAI, ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that was launched in November 2022. It can answer complex questions, write code, solve tricky math problems and even compose music.
Other AI-based technologies are also taking the market by storm. One example is Overdub, which allows users to clone their own voice. All you have to do is upload a sample of about a minute and you’ll be able to use Text to Speech to mimic any speaker’s speech.
Among these emerging technologies are tools that will also become part of the talent industry, and Sharon Elkabas is eager to share her observations and predictions.
“It’s still early days, but we’re seeing rapid growth,” says Elkabas.
He adds: “AI is already being used to create digital doubles of celebrities, actors and musicians, so that their likenesses can be used in digital content.”
Specifically, Elkabas says there has been a move towards licensing talent to digitally replicate their image in entertainment and media through the use of AI technology.
Elkabas says this is likely to have a major impact on how the industry works in the future, as well as the way talent will be able to monetize their likeness.
Previously a typical brand partnership might have involved the brand contacting an agency, who then contacted the talent and arranged an in-person meeting resulting in content creation or a partnership for the brand.
In the future, this process may be completely facilitated by AI. The brand simply needs to approach the agency for a license, and once the license is granted, the brand can use the talent’s likeness as permitted. This will save time and travel costs and allow talent to participate in several different projects at once without actually being there.
“The whole process will become ten times more efficient,” says Elkabas.
Elkabas says we have to be prepared to see how this all unfolds when the AI and talent industries come together.
He is optimistic about the future and how AI will provide new opportunities to agencies, brands and their talents alike.