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Kartoon Studios launches AI toolkit to cut production costs, speed up distribution

US-based kids’ content company Kartoon Studios has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) toolkit that it says will save 75% of current animation production costs while creating efficiencies that will dramatically improve speed to market.

Andy Heyward

Gadget AI is designed to enable the development, production and post-production of new animated content, as well as revitalising and upgrading the quality and distribution reach of existing catalogue episodes and acquisitions.

Andy Heyward, chairman and CEO of Kartoon Studios, said: “During the past year, we have dedicated a great deal of time and resources to understand the opportunities with AI as it pertains to our business and have been speaking extensively with leaders in the field.

“Our commitment to harnessing AI reflects a pivotal shift in our industry’s approach to content creation and distribution. By connecting various tools via OpenUSD into Gadget AI with Nvidia Omniverse, we aim to streamline production processes, accelerate quality and significantly reduce both time to market and expenditures.”

Production services targeted by the toolkit include character design, scriptwriting, music, animation, resolution enhancement and dubbing, but Heyward said job opportunities would not be compromised.

“Our focus lies in redefining production paradigms and creating opportunities. With Gadget AI, we anticipate cost savings and accelerated time to market, all while fostering job growth. We anticipate this new cutting-edge approach will enable our products to become more profitable, while offering a better experience for viewers,” he said.

Todd Steinman, president of Kartoon Studios’ Toon Media Networks, will spearhead the initiative as chief AI officer, supported by an internal team that has been developing and refining elements of the toolkit and workflow over the past year.

Steinman said: “As part of our ethical AI use and supporting our desire to protect our own intellectual property, we plan to use, which employs licensed, certified datasets to ensure our AI-driven animation production respects copyrights and upholds the integrity of original content,”

Heyward added: “Forty years ago, we created Inspector Gadget, a simple 2D cartoon, which decades later was recognised in Vanity Fair for predicting many of the technologies that have become part of our daily modern life, from Google search to smart watches, iPads, iPods, Google Maps and more. It seemed only fitting that we name our AI platform, which we believe will revolutionise the way animation is produced going forward, Gadget AI.”


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