Ari Emanuel believes artificial intelligence will help the entertainment industry, not destroy it.

Speaking on the Freakonomics Radio podcast to author and host Stephen Dubner — an interview that took place before the Writer’s Guild of America strike, where AI issues loom large — Emanuel seemed to indicate that AI would be a useful tool.

“My opinion about A.I. is the following. My son Leo is at Michigan, and he’s in computer science. He and I were having this conversation. And I’m telling him, “programming is going to go away.” And he says, “Dad, here’s my opinion about it. Computer versus computer in chess, draw. Computer versus computer and human, computer-human win.” And if you talk to George Gilder, he would say technology has only added to employment. Elon would say something else. It is going to be a very important development tool. Do I think you can create like Jim Brooks can? No. Could it help Jim Brooks? Yeah.”

Despite that take, Emanuel stopped short of saying there’s no danger in relying more on AI.

“Do I think there’s protections we have to put in place for music, in books, writing, and… Yeah, I do. But yeah, that’s just change and normal. The one thing that we’re doing is we’re looking at the world, ok, can you A.I. live entertainment? No, can’t. Elon said to me at one point — it was very funny and made me nervous. He says, “Ari, do you have dogs?” I said, “Yeah, I have four dogs.” He goes,

“Well, here’s what A.I. is to you. You’re the dog.”

Dubner countered, “But dogs have a great life, right?”

“I guess,” Emanuel said. “Well, all that means to me is we’re going to have a lot more free time and experience — the experience economy is going to be very important.”

Recalling an Emanuel comment on live entertainment, Dubner asked about virtual reality, augmented reality, and other futuristic entertainment forms.

“Yeah, you can do that,” Emanuel said. “That’s entertainment.” He added, “You’re going to have the live and then you’re going to have — there’s a whole ‘nother audience that wants to do other things. And we’ll figure that out.”


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