Disney CEO Bob Iger ‘bullish’ about artificial intelligence

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.”

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