Disney CEO Bob Iger ‘bullish’ about artificial intelligence

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The Disney chief also acknowledged that artificial intelligence does pose some complications.

Disney CEO Bob Iger warned artificial intelligence has the power to be “highly disruptive” for his company, but also said it offers some real opportunities for Disney’s business.

“Overall, I’m bullish about the prospects because I think they’ll create efficiencies and ways for us to basically provide better service to customers,” Iger said during the question-and-answer portion of the company’s quarterly earnings call. “On the other hand, I think that there’s a lot we’re going to have to contend with that will be quite disruptive and quite challenging.”

Iger spoke off the cuff about AI during the earnings call after a stock analyst asked him to weigh in. Iger otherwise primarily talked about Disney’s fight with Gov. Ron DeSantis, the theme parks and the state of Disney+.

Guggenheim Securities stock analyst Michael Morris said AI is “clearly a very hot topic right now.”

The analyst acknowledged AI could be “impactful” and beneficial for Disney’s business, but noted it also presents challenges “given how much intellectual property you have to protect, something that could be a threat as well.”

Without going into details, Iger acknowledged Disney is already using artificial intelligence to run more efficiently and for customer service.

“Getting closer to the customer is something that is a real goal of ours, and we think that AI will provide some great opportunities to do that,” Iger said.

But Iger said Disney’s legal team is working overtime to “come to grips with what could be some of the challenges here.”

AI “could be extremely difficult to manage, particularly from an intellectual property management perspective,” Iger said. “And we’re certainly not the only ones. I think this is across not only our industry, but industries.”

The use of AI has raised ethical and legal questions in areas such as the creation of music, written content, how businesses interact with customer service complaints and more.

Maybe AI could even replace Iger on future quarterly earnings calls someday?

“I’m looking forward to a time where maybe AI does earnings calls for me, and you wouldn’t know the difference perhaps,” Iger said. “Maybe they’d be better? I don’t know.”

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 15, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    Maybe Iger’s Hall of Presidents could create AI bot president robots that serve as President. Whatever President AI Bot does, it’d have to be an improvement over the current lots of useless Democrats and MAGA lunatics.

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