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AI Robots Secure Spots at NFL Game Spectator Stands

The Los Angeles Chargers are fully embracing their Hollywood surroundings, as artificial intelligence (AI) robots took up residence in seats at SoFi Stadium during their Week 1 match against the Miami Dolphins, all in the service of promoting Disney's upcoming science fiction film, "The Creator."

Scheduled to hit theatres on September 29th, "The Creator," a production of Disney's 20th Century Studios, explores a futuristic conflict between humanity and artificial intelligence. Disney seized the opportunity to showcase these AI robots in the crowd on SoFi Stadium's colossal video screen. These robot figures engaged in animated movements, including turning their robotic heads, while seated alongside human spectators.

This isn't the first occasion when Disney has leveraged the immense double-sided video display at SoFi Stadium to promote a cinematic release. Last year, during a Rams game, the screen was utilised to hype up the trailer for "Avatar: The Way of Water." Given its strategic location near the heart of America's entertainment industry, SoFi Stadium in Hollywood Park serves as a natural choice for such film promotions.

The timing of "The Creator's" promotional campaign coincides with a significant labour dispute in Hollywood. SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America are currently engaged in a strike, driven in large part by concerns over compensation from streaming services and the perceived threat of AI to creative professionals.

Bomani Jones, a prominent sports media personality and former ESPN writer and host, has been vocal in his support for the striking Hollywood writers. He emphasises the irreplaceable creative elements that computers cannot replicate and asserts that AI's role in areas like game reporting should not overshadow the unique talents of human professionals.

Jones joined the picket line outside the CBS Broadcast Center in New York in July to express solidarity with the striking Hollywood writers. The strike garnered support from union leaders representing the NFLPA, MLBPA, and NHLPA. Notably, Gannett, a newspaper publisher, recently suspended its use of AI technology for generating high school sports articles due to criticism on social media.

Disney's latest movie marketing stunt at SoFi Stadium brings to mind Paramount's placement of eerie actors in MLB stadiums last year as part of a promotional campaign for its horror film, "Smile."


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