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Tuesday, March 02, 2021 

New computer technology makes comics from movies

The Hindu reported on a new computer program for making comic panels out of movie footage. But there's a problem based on just who it was who developed the program, or was involved in development:
Producing a comic book is a work of art involving high level of creativity. The whole process of ideating, sketching, colouring, inking and lettering content, can take over eight months. Now that production can be completed in lesser time, and done by artificial intelligence (AI), not humans.

A team of researchers, including those from China’s Dalian University of Technology, has developed an AI system to make comic books from movies and other videos. They have used computer vision, a form of AI, to automate creative tasks, which helps to interpret digital content like images, videos, and graphics.

The team said it derived inspiration from ‘Manga’, a style of comics or graphic novels originating from Japan. The automated system will help professionals develop their own books from videos, movies, TV shows or cartoons.
Much as I'd like to admire this new product, I'm honestly discouraged by the fact that Chinese sources were involved, considering all the trouble they've caused lately on the political scene. If I wanted to build a comics panel program using such technology, how can I possibly support a product made by sources who could be under communist influence? I'm sure that's a question many outraged by what China's incompetence led to are asking right now. I think maybe I'd wait until art programmers in more democratic countries came up with a similar program before making use of this technology.

On its own, the comic-building technology in focus here is certainly inventive. But coming as it does at a time when China's not looked upon positively because of the Covid19 disaster, that's why the timing for its announcement is most unfortunate.

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