TCL releases a new AI-generated sci-fi short film called 'Message in a Bot'

'Message in a Bot' is an AI generated short film from TCL that tells a story about humanity visiting a distant alien planet by sending a dog there first.

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TCL is known for its consumer electronics, which includes an extensive range of impressive and affordable TVs. As part of its home entertainment products, the company offers its own streaming platform called TCLtv+ - an ad-supported platform offering a variety of entertainment, sports, music, and lifestyle programming.

With that, TCLtv+ Studios is the production arm creating original content for the platform, some of which are built using generative AI tools. The company's first AI sci-fi film short, "Message in a Bot," is now available on YouTube and X, with its TCLtv+ debut coming later in the month. This is TCL's second AI-generated piece of content, following the release of Next Stop Paris, its AI-generated romantic comedy, which we covered a few months ago.

And, well, you're probably wondering if it - you know - works as a film. The short answer is yes, even though much of it looks like a collection of AI-generated GIFs stitched together to form a somewhat cohesive plot. The story, as it were, involves a UFO crash landing Earth and humanity using the recovered technology to send a dog through a wormhole to an alien planet filled with E.T.-like creatures. More or less.

Creating "Message in a Bot" involved a human team of producers, artists, and animators; however, with generative AI tools, the finished piece was able to be created relatively quickly. TCL notes that its AI animation team includes people who have worked on Marvel, Star Wars, and "other top action franchises."

"We are energized by the resourcefulness and ingenuity of artists working in AI who can quickly bring their imagination to life," said Chris Regina, Chief Content Officer, TCL. "By leaning into rapidly evolving AI tools, the timeline from idea to release is shorter than ever before. It's an exhilarating process that allows for extraordinary freedom and creativity."

"We are excited to combine the talents of the best AI animators with top Hollywood VFX pros and their powerful film tools, building unique AI & 3D capabilities," added Daniel Smith, Chief Creative Officer, TCL.

From the sounds of it, TCL is investing quite a bit of time and resources into developing AI-generated films and TV shows with "key Hollywood talent."

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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