Hollywood’s AI Issues Remain Unsettled Post Writers’ Labor Deal

Hollywood’s AI Issues Remain Unsettled Post Writers’ Labor Deal

The Writers Guild of America recently signed a labor deal with Hollywood Studios, in what seems to be a victory for the Guild. The labor deal involves implementing guardrails for the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

For years, writers and actors have expressed apprehension about the growing prevalence of AI, primarily out of fear that this technology might render them unnecessary in the realm of Hollywood. Currently, the industry is confronted with numerous inquiries regarding AI and its impact on writing after the approval of the agreement.

These questions primarily revolve around issues related to copyright law, the identification of AI-generated content, and the expected behavior of studios. The WGA agreement has firmly stipulated that AI usage should not diminish a writer’s credit or serve as a method to decrease a writer’s earnings. Nonetheless, the contract does permit studios to utilize preexisting content for the purpose of AI training. It’s worth noting that the initial WGA proposal from May, aimed to prohibit studios from employing any materials for AI training entirely.

However, some market analysts believe that the guardrails won’t be enough. Justine Bateman, a member of the writers, directors and actors guilds, told CNBC:

“I hope I’m wrong, but I do think that the use of AI is going to take over the entertainment industry.”

Is AI Putting Hollywood Jobs in Danger?

Studios in Hollywood using preexisting content to train AI may give rise to a fresh array of concerns for writers, potentially enabling studios to produce similar materials without the writer’s permission or knowledge. This ambiguous territory is where complex issues could emerge, as noted by Leslie Callif, a partner at the entertainment law firm Donaldson & Callif in Beverly Hills.

Cliff added:

“One of the biggest issues we’re dealing with is the misappropriation of how AI uses source material and creates new material out of it without permission. How do you control this? I think it really comes down to human behavior.”

The decision to permit studios to use preexisting content for AI training was, in the view of Peter Csathy, founder and chairman of Creative Media, a temporary solution, as studios are expected to exploit AI to its full extent over time. Csathy further noted that the primary obstacle in this endeavor is likely to be existing copyright law. The influence of AI on conventional US copyright law is also substantial.

OpenAI also faced legal action earlier this year, with well-known authors such as Jodi Picoult and George R.R. Martin filing a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement. They further claimed that the startup employed their published works to train ChatGPT.

“We’re having productive conversations with many creators around the world, including the Authors Guild, and have been working cooperatively to understand and discuss their concerns about AI,” said an OpenAI representative.


Hollywood’s AI Issues Remain Unsettled Post Writers’ Labor Deal

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