Legendary Studio Ghibli animator Hayao Miyazaki was recently screened a demo of AI generated animation after which he vehemently responded, "I would never wish to incorporate this technology into my work at all."

Miyazaki, the artist behind some of the most influential animated films from the last 30 years, was presented with a short reel displaying an animated zombie that was generated by the Dwango Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. The group intended to show Miyazaki the capability of machine-learning to be able to construct unusual forms of animated movement with a goal to, in the words of one of the researchers, "... build a machine that can draw pictures like humans do."

As you can witness in the video below, Miyazaki was less than impressed, launching into an extended smack down describing the work as, "an insult to life itself." Miyazaki's primary concern seems to be that the animation fundamentally lacks a sense of human empathy as he says, "Whoever creates this stuff has no idea what pain is or whatsoever. I am utterly disgusted. If you really want to make creepy stuff, you can go ahead and do it."

As the camera pans back to the thoroughly devastated researcher's faces it's hard to not get the sense that this interaction is a perfect encapsulation of the generational divide that technology has thrust upon the creative industries. Miyazaki, an artist that has actively maintained his hand-drawn animated sensibilities for over half a century, comes face-to-face with a collection of computer kids getting AI to generate novel forms of movement and the result is this rough interaction.

Ironically, Miyazaki has recently returned to work from his earlier announced retirement to make one last feature-film. His first to be entirely computer generated.

Watch the short, harrowing Miyazaki-slam in the video below from the NHK documentary series, NHK Special: Hayao Miyazaki –The One Who Never Ends.