The Australian Writers’ Guild Calls for Regulation of AI to Protect Creative Workers
The Australian Writers’ Guild (AWG) has released a position paper highlighting the risks posed by the unregulated use of artificial intelligence (AI) in creative endeavors. This move comes after the Writers’ Guild of America successfully secured critical contract protections around AI. The AWG’s paper proposes a comprehensive framework for regulating AI in order to safeguard authorial control, ensure fair remuneration, protect moral rights, safeguard First Nations cultural assets, classify content appropriately, allow player opt-in, and address concerns related to gambling and in-app purchases in video games.
The AWG firmly asserts that the unregulated use of AI by corporate content producers, including major studios and video game publishers, poses a clear threat to Australian writing. If unchecked, this could lead to a significant dilution of the critical functions performed by Australian writers and a loss of Australian cultural heritage. To address these concerns, the AWG calls for the implementation of unambiguous guidelines and robust legislation to provide strong protections for the creative sectors in Australia.
The risks associated with the unregulated use of AI technology by content producers are numerous. These risks include the degradation and loss of Australian culture in easily accessible forms, the appropriation and erosion of First Nations culture, the replacement of thoughtfully developed and realized Australian screen drama, theatre, and interactive content, the loss of livelihoods for Australian creative workers, the erosion of the skill base of Australian creatives, the capture of players’ personal information, and the exposure of video game audiences to potentially harmful or offensive content.
AWG Executive Director Claire Pullen emphasized the Guild’s mission to ensure fair remuneration and copyright protections for Australian writers. Pullen argues that AI, being derivative in nature, often scrapes works without consent, acknowledgment, or payment to the original artists. The AWG believes that while AI has a role to play in industries, it should not replace the creative heart of every story. The Guild maintains that good writing is a product of human endeavor, experience, and aspiration, qualities that cannot be replicated by AI.
The AWG’s position paper serves as a forceful call to action, urging the Australian creative sectors to adopt clear guidelines and robust legislation to protect the rights and livelihoods of Australia’s writers, playwrights, game narrative designers, comedians, and podcasters. By safeguarding the creative industries, Australia can ensure a vibrant and culturally rich future.
Source: The Australian Writers’ Guild (AWG) position paper
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