Hollywood Writers Secure Strong AI Guidelines in New Contract
Hollywood writers have achieved a major victory in the ongoing battle over the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in film and television projects. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) recently approved a new contract that includes robust guardrails to regulate the use of AI technology. The agreement brings an end to one of the longest labor strikes in Hollywood history, which had brought the industry to a standstill. The contract not only ensures that AI tools are under the control of workers but also protects against scenarios that could undermine the roles of writers and actors.
The new guidelines prevent studios from using AI to generate or edit scripts without the input of human writers. Additionally, AI-generated content cannot be treated as “source material” for adaptation without proper credit and compensation. This safeguards the wages and creative control of screenwriters. While writers can choose to use AI tools if they want, they cannot be forced to do so, and companies must disclose if AI-generated material is provided to writers.
Economist Simon Johnson from MIT praised the new terms as a “fantastic win for writers” that will result in better quality work and a stronger industry. He hopes that this contract will serve as a model for addressing AI in other industries. The deal sets a precedent for protecting workers from potential abuses of AI technology while still allowing them to use it as a research tool.
Experts believe that this agreement may foreshadow future labor battles in other industries as AI continues to transform the workforce. The inclusion of AI rules in the WGA contract is significant, considering the growing use of AI in entertainment companies, particularly in research and development. The success of this negotiation could inspire other unions, such as Sag-Aftra, to adopt similar protections for actors.
While the AI issues faced by actors and writers differ, both groups are concerned about the potential dehumanization of the workforce through the use of technology. By focusing on the present implications of AI abuse rather than speculative possibilities, the WGA negotiation committee successfully protected the interests of writers. The new contract ensures that AI remains in the hands of workers and contributes to a more harmonious and productive industry.
Sources: Associated Press