New episode of legendary 'Black Jack' manga series created with AI unveiled

A project to create a new episode of Japanese manga legend Tezuka Osamu's Black Jack series with the help of generative AI has been completed and previewed to the media.

Tezka Macoto, the son of the late manga artist who headed the project, and Keio University professor Kurihara Satoshi, an expert on artificial intelligence, jointly met reporters at the university in Tokyo on Monday.

The "TEZUKA 2023" project kicked off in June to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the start of the Black Jack manga series, which centers on a genius surgeon who practices medicine without a license.

Tezka Macoto said the project's leaders are relieved the episode was completed as planned. He added he is happy for its creation, which was made possible through a collaboration between human art creators and AI.

He said he believes a very interesting episode has been made.

The team used generative AI models to come up with a basic storyline and to design a new character that appears in the work. The team members adjusted the basic ideas to come up with the final story while interacting with the generative AI models.

One of the members, film director Hayashi Kaizo, said artificial intelligence came up with ideas, including the title of the episode. He added the team conversed with the AI model, and had fun with its responses, which were weird when the questions were strange.

Reporters were shown the first five pages of the episode, in which the surgeon and his assistant are asked by a CEO of a company they are visiting to examine a patient, who is lying on a bed with multiple tubes attached to her.