TV and movie writers struggle to save their jobs from AI. They won't be the last | CNN affairs (2023)


John August is a successful screenwriter by all accounts. He has written films such as Big Fish, Charlie's Angels and Go. But even he is concerned about the impact AI could have on his work.

Apowerful new harvestAI tools trained on massive online databases can now create essays, lyrics and other written work in response to user input. While there are clear limits to how well AI tools can produce compelling creative stories, these tools are becoming more sophisticated, leaving writers like August wary.

“Screenwriters are concerned that our screenplays are the feedstock that goes into these systems to create other screenplays, adaptations and story ideas,” August, a member of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) committee, told CNN. "The work we do cannot be replaced by these systems."

August is one of the more than 11,000 members of the WGAhe went on strikeTuesday morning, resulting in an immediate halt in production on some television shows and a possible delay in the start of new seasons of others later this year.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 2: Members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) East hold signs as they walk the picket line in front of the Peacock NewFront on May 2, 2023 in New York City. WGA members were out on the first day of a voter strike in Hollywood after the board of directors of the Writers Guild of America, which includes affiliates on the West Coast and East Coast, voted unanimously to strike. Negotiations between a top guild and an industry association representing Hollywood's top studios have failed to prevent the first strike in more than 15 years. Union members have said they are not being paid fairly in the streaming era and are pushing for wage increases and structural changes in the business model. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images Broken cables, streaming losses and the "scary math" that drove the writers' strike

The WGA is asking the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to make a number of changes, from a pay raise to getting clear guidelines for working with streaming services. But as part of its demands, the WGA is also fighting to protect its livelihood from AI.

In a proposal published this week on the WGA website, the union said AI should be regulated in such a way that it "cannot write or paraphrase literary material, cannot be used as source material" and that the work of writers "cannot be used to train AI."

August said the demand for AI is "one of the last things" to be added to the WGA list, but that it is "clearly an issue authors are concerned about" and that they need to address it now rather than when their contact again exists for three years. By then, he said, "it may be too late."

The WGA said the proposal was rejected by AMPTP, which countered by offering annual meetings to discuss advancements in the technology. August said AMPTP's response shows they want to keep their options open.

In a document sent to CNN in response to some questions from the WGA, AMPTP said it values ​​the work of creatives and "the best stories are original, insightful and often come from people's own experiences."

“AI raises difficult, important creative and legal questions for everyone,” she wrote. “Authors want to be able to use this technology as part of their creative process without changing the way credits are awarded, which is complicated because AI material cannot be copyrighted. So it's something that requires a lot more discussion, which we're committed to."

It added that the current WGA agreement defines an "author" as a "person" and said that "AI-generated material would not be amenable to credit writing."

The authors' attempt to negotiate AI is perhaps the most prominent labor dispute to date to allay concerns about cutting-edge technology that have captured the world's attention in the six months since ChatGPT's release.

Goldman Sachs economists appreciate thatup to 300 million full-time jobsglobally can be automated in any way by the latest wave of AI. White-collar workers, including those in administrative and legal positions, are expected to be most affected. And the impact may be sooner than some think: IBM's CEOrecentlysuggested that AI could cut thousands of jobs at his company alone over the next five years.

David Gunkel, a professor in Northern Illinois University's communications department who studies AI in media and entertainment, said screenwriters want clear guidelines for AI because "they can see the writing on the wall."

“AI is already displacing human labor in many other areas of content creation — copywriting, journalism, SEO writing, and so on,” he said. "The WGA is simply trying to introduce itself and protect its members from… 'tech unemployment'."

TV and movie writers struggle to save their jobs from AI. They won't be the last | CNN affairs (2)

On May 2, 2023, the picket line began outside Netflix in Hollywood, California.

While Hollywood film and television writers are currently leading the way, professionals in other industries will almost certainly be paying attention.

"There are certainly other industries that need to pay special attention to this space," said Rowan Curran, an analyst at Forrester Research who focuses on AI. He noted that digital artists, musicians, engineers, real estate professionals and customer service representatives will all feel the impact of generative AI.

“Take a good look at this #WGA strike,” Justine Bateman, writer, director and former actress, wrote in athe tweetShortly after the strike began. "Understand that our battle is the same battle your professional industry faces next: it's the devaluation of human effort, skill, and talent in favor of automation and profit."

AI in film and television

AI has had a place in Hollywood for years. In the 2018 Marvel Avengers movie Infinity Wars, the face of Thanos - a character played by actor Josh Brolin - was partially created using the technology.

Crowd and fight scenes in movies like Lord of the Rings and Meg have used AI, and the recent Indiana Jones used it to make Harrison Ford's character look younger. It was also used for color grading, finding footage faster in post-production, and improvements such as removing scratches and dust from footage.

But AI in screenwriting is still in its infancy. In March, a South Park episode called Deep Learning was co-written by ChatGPT and the tool was an important part of the storyline (characters use ChatGPT to talk to girls and write schoolwork).

August said writers are generally willing to play with tools as long as they are used as a launching pad or for research, and that writers are credited and remain employed throughout the production process.

A photo posted to the Writers Guild of America East's Twitter account reads, "Members have been hard at work at WGAE headquarters in NYC for the past few days!" on April 28, 2023. WGA film and television writers strike and halt production on many shows

"Screenwriters aren't luddites, and we've been quick to embrace new technology to tell our stories," said August. “We have enjoyed switching from typewriters to word processors and it has increased productivity. …. But we don't need a magical typewriter that writes its own scripts."

Because large language models are trained on text that people have previously written and find patterns in words and sentences to create quick responses, there are also intellectual property concerns. "It is entirely possible for a [chatbot] to create a script in the style of a particular filmmaker or screenwriter without the prior consent of the original artist or the Hollywood studio that owns the intellectual property for that material," Gunkel said.

For example, you can have ChatGPT create a David Mamet style zombie apocalypse drama. "To whom should this be attributed?" said August. "What happens if we allow a producer or a studio head to come up with a treatment or a pitch or something that looks like a script that no writer has touched yet?"

At the moment, the legal landscape in this area is still very turbulent, with regulations lagging behind the rapid pace of AI development. In early April, the Biden administration said it was asking for public comment on how to hold artificial intelligence systems like ChatGPT accountable.

"We can't protect studios from their own bad decisions," August said. "We can only protect writers from abuse."

Can AI cross the pickets?

The AI ​​strike and demands come at a time when both writers and studios are struggling financially.

Many of the companies represented by AMPTP have seen their stock price fall, leading to significant cost cuts, including layoffs. The need to control costs, coupled with dealing with the fallout from the strike, could increase pressure on companies to turn to AI for script writing.

JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! Jimmy KimmelLive! airs every week at 11:35 p.m. ET and features a diverse cast of guests, including celebrities, athletes, musical artists, comedians, and subjects of human interest, as well as comedy plays and a house band. Guests for Monday, March 20 included Jennifer Hudson (The Jennifer Hudson Show), Donnie Yen (John Wick Chapter Four) and musical guest Larkin Poe. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) JENNIFER HUDSON, JIMMY KIMMEL Randy Holmes/ABC/Getty Images How a Writers' Strike Can Affect Your Favorite TV Shows

“In the short term, this could be an effective way to circumvent the WGA strike, especially since [large language models] that are considered property and not personnel can be deployed to the task without harming the pickets,” said Gunkel . Such an "experiment" could also show production studios whether it is possible "to get by with fewer people," he said.

But Joshua Glick, visiting professor of film and electronic arts at Bard University, believes such a move would be ill-advised.

“It would be a pretty aggressive and hostile move for studios to continue using AI-generated scripts to bring writers to the negotiating table because AI is such a critical bottleneck in negotiations,” says Glick, who also contributed to deepfake: Unstable. Evidence on Screen, an exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

"At the same time, I think the outcome of these scripts would be mediocre at best," he said.

Whatever the studio's reaction, the problem is unlikely to go away in Hollywood. Movie and television actors' contracts expire in June, and many are concerned about how their faces, bodies and voices will be affected by AI, August said.

"As writers, we don't want tools to replace us, but actors have the same concerns about AI as directors, editors, and anyone who works creatively in this industry," he added.


What is the problem with AI writers? ›

Quality Concerns and Possible Plagiarism

AI writing tools don't actually understand the text they generate, as they basically collect information from the internet and reword it. This could result in content that has issues like misplaced statistics and sentences without flow and coherence.

Will writers be replaced by AI? ›

With all that current AI is capable of and all of the advancements that will come soon, writers need to think of AI not as a replacement but as an additional tool in their toolbelt. AI will hopefully improve the writer's job, but it is not on its way to replacing human writers soon.

Will AI writers replace human content writers in the foreseeable future? ›

AI-generated content for websites and blogs won't replace quality content writers any time soon, because AI-created content isn't necessarily good—or reliable. Google says AI writing is against its guidelines, considering it spam.

How AI is helping writers? ›

AI scriptwriting does not replace human writers but assists them in the creative process. By automating certain aspects of the scriptwriting process, AI can help writers overcome writer's block, generate new ideas, and improve the quality of their scripts through real-time feedback.

What are the negative effects of AI? ›

AI systems learn from training data, by which they learn to make decisions. These data may contain biased human decisions or represent historical or social inequalities. Likewise, the bias could enter directly into the programming of the human being who designs the system, based on their own biases.

What are the negative consequences of AI writing programs? ›

The Cons of AI Writing Tools

Makes some errors: Again, the technology has come a long way, but AI content tools do commit errors, including punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure. It will require some of your time to analyze and fix the content before it goes out into the world.

Why can't AI replace artists? ›

While AI technology has made significant progress in generating visual and audio content, it still lacks the creativity and human touch that is intrinsic to art. Moreover, artists bring their own unique perspectives and emotions to their work, which AI apps cannot replicate.

What creative jobs will not be replaced by AI? ›

The jobs that will not be replaced by AI are those that require creativity, empathy, and complex political and strategic roles.
  • Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) ...
  • Lawyers. ...
  • Graphic Designers. ...
  • Editors. ...
  • Computer Scientists and Software Developers. ...
  • PR Managers. ...
  • Event Planners. ...
  • Marketing Managers.
Mar 30, 2023

Will AI replace some jobs? ›

The short answer to the question of whether AI will replace some jobs is a big, fat “yes.” Developments in artificial intelligence mean that technology can achieve more and more, and that will, of course, impact jobs, Steven Miller, professor emeritus of information systems at Singapore Management University, says.

Is AI the end of writing? ›

Overall, while AI systems may be able to assist with certain aspects of the writing process or generate content in specific contexts, it is unlikely that they will fully replace human authors in the near future.

Will AI eventually replace human practitioners? ›

For now, the need for human interaction in healthcare is likely to keep AI on the sidelines as a complement, rather than a substitute, for doctors, Dranove says. But perhaps in a few decades, patients will be comfortable interacting with computers and even trust them as their main source of medical guidance.

Will AI eventually replace human jobs? ›

Artificial intelligence (AI) could replace the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs, a report by investment bank Goldman Sachs says. It could replace a quarter of work tasks in the US and Europe but may also mean new jobs and a productivity boom.

Does AI write better than humans? ›

Additionally, the quality of the content generated by AI-powered writing tools is still not on par with that of human writers. While AI-generated content may be grammatically correct and free of errors, it lacks the depth and nuance that comes with human writing.

Are AI writers worth it? ›

AI writing tools are excellent for businesses that conduct content marketing. If you're constantly producing copy for blog posts, website landing pages, product descriptions, ads, social media posts, video descriptions, and/or emails, AI writing software can help you.

Can AI write as well as humans? ›

⭐ Can AI write better than humans? The answer to this question is highly dependent on the use case. In some cases, AI can write better than humans. On the other hand, in some cases, humans might be able to write better content than AI because they can understand and convey emotions more effectively.

What did Elon Musk say about AI? ›

During the interview last week with Mr. Carlson, Mr. Musk said OpenAI was no longer serving as a check on the power of tech giants. He wanted to build TruthGPT, he said, “a maximum-truth-seeking A.I. that tries to understand the nature of the universe.”

How is AI making humans lazy? ›

Automating everyday work is one of the ways AI has made people lazy. Machines that can carry out the same duties more rapidly and correctly have taken the place of many jobs, especially in the industrial and service sectors. As a result, there is no longer a need for human labor, giving people more free time.

Why is AI a threat to humanity? ›

We describe three such main ways misused narrow AI serves as a threat to human health: through increasing opportunities for control and manipulation of people; enhancing and dehumanising lethal weapon capacity and by rendering human labour increasingly obsolescent.

What negative effects did AI have on the workforce? ›

Job Losses: One of the potential downsides of AI is that it could lead to increased unemployment as machines begin to replace human workers in a variety of industries.

What are the dangers and benefits of artificial intelligence? ›

AI can offer many benefits, such as improving efficiency, accuracy, accessibility, and quality of life. However, AI also poses some risks, such as displacing jobs, invading privacy, creating bias, and undermining human dignity.

What are the positive and negative effects of artificial intelligence? ›

The advantages range from streamlining, saving time, eliminating biases, and automating repetitive tasks, just to name a few. The disadvantages are things like costly implementation, potential human job loss, and lack of emotion and creativity.

Why artists are mad at AI? ›

AI doesn't do the same – it can only copy.” When a human artist does “mimic a style, or pass off a piece of artwork as their own, it is incredibly frowned upon – and in some cases could be seen as copyright infringement. This is essentially what AI art is doing.”

Why are artists against AI? ›

AI art appears to be a particular threat to digital artists. Part of this is because these creators tend to produce large bodies of content, meaning that datasets will have access to huge amounts of information on their style.

Does AI art rip off artists? ›

AI art not only invalidates the hard work of real artists, but it also stands to be an absolute ethical nightmare. Many AI programs, such as DALL-E and DALL-E 2, require pre-existing art to be fed to them to understand certain art styles' basics.

What jobs will AI eliminate? ›

Tech jobs such as software developers, web developers, computer programmers, coders, and data scientists are "pretty amenable" to AI technologies "displacing more of their work," Madgavkar said.

What skill can't AI replace? ›

Critical thinking is a skill that will never be replaced by AI. Even though machines are excellent at evaluating data, they lack the human capacity for critical thought. It's a talent that is necessary for a variety of fields, including business, law, and medicine.

Can AI beat creativity? ›

While AI can automate many tasks, it cannot replace the human experience of creativity and emotion, at least not yet. Therefore, it is important to view AI as a tool that can assist and augment human creativity and workmanship rather than a replacement for it.

Will AI destroy more jobs than it creates? ›

“While we can't say for sure how many jobs will be created or destroyed from the research, it is likely that the automation of some tasks may mean fewer people are needed to perform some jobs but that increased productivity may reduce costs stimulating sales and demand for workers overall," the researchers explain.

What jobs are most likely to be replaced by AI? ›

The Top 10 Jobs Most Likely to Be Replaced by AI
  • Entry-level Admin Roles.
  • Data Entry Clerks.
  • Software Engineers and Coders.
  • Customer Service Reps.
  • Paralegals.
  • Copywriters and Content Roles.
  • Graphic Designers.
  • Bankers and Accountants.
May 22, 2023

Will I lose my job to AI? ›

Roughly two-thirds of current jobs are likely to be affected by some degree of AI automation, according to a report by Goldman Sachs GS, +2.51% , a global financial institution. The report estimates that about one-fourth of current work tasks could be automated by AI in the U.S.

Is AI the future of content writing? ›

The use of AI in content creation has already begun to revolutionize the writing profession, and its impact is only expected to grow in the future. As AI-powered writing tools become more sophisticated, they will continue to play an increasingly important role in the content creation process.

Will robots take over writing? ›

AI's role in the future of writing. AI won't replace writers, but we predict that writers who use AI will replace writers who don't. When we cease worrying about machines replacing writers, we can take a closer look at how AI can improve writing.

What is the end goal of AI? ›

While there are many competing perspectives on the goal of AI, it's generally agreed that the ultimate aim is to create intelligent machines that can think, reason, and learn as humans do.

Can dentists be replaced by robots? ›

AI is strongly believed to shape dentistry in terms of improving the diagnosis, fine tuning treatment plans and predicting treatment results. However, it cannot replace dentistry, at least in the foreseeable future.

Will AI ever surpass humans? ›

AI will achieve human-level intelligence, but perhaps not anytime soon. Human-level intelligence allows us to reason, solve problems and make decisions. It requires many cognitive abilities including adaptability, social intelligence and learning from experience. AI already ticks many of these boxes.

Will data scientists be replaced by AI? ›

Long answer short —AI models like Chat GPT can be a valuable tool for data scientists, but they cannot replace the important role that data scientists play in various industries. This is true for most of the roles.

What jobs will be gone by 2030? ›

  • Introduction. ...
  • Data entry and manual data processing. ...
  • Simple repetitive tasks in manufacturing and assembly lines. ...
  • Telemarketing and tele-sales. ...
  • Certain customer service and support roles. ...
  • Basic data analysis and reporting.

What will happen when robots take all the jobs? ›

Not Everyone Will Work

It could be that displaced human workers can't re-skill and don't have it in them to fill the more human-driven roles. This would obviously lead to higher unemployment numbers, which would have a large impact on society and the economy. The impacts of this possibility are far-reaching.

Will most jobs disappear due to automation? ›

What percentage of jobs are at risk of automation? 25% of jobs are considered at high risk of being lost due to automation. A further 36% of jobs have medium potential for being automated, meaning they will likely transform significantly or be lost altogether.

What are the cons of AI writer? ›

Cons of AI Writing

AI tools can also create plagiarism issues and limit creativity and critical thinking. Additionally, ethical and social concerns arise from AI writing tools, as they may generate biased or harmful text.

Who is more powerful AI or human? ›

People make use of the memory, processing capabilities, and cognitive talents that their brains provide. The processing of data and commands is essential to the operation of AI-powered devices. When it comes to speed, humans are no match for artificial intelligence or robots.

Will AI be the best or worst thing for humanity? ›

Professor Stephen Hawking has warned that the creation of powerful artificial intelligence will be “either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity”, and praised the creation of an academic institute dedicated to researching the future of intelligence as “crucial to the future of our civilisation and ...

Can lawyers be replaced by AI? ›

Professor Eric Talley of Columbia Law School, who recently taught a course on Machine Learning and the Law, says AI won't replace lawyers but will instead complement their skills, ultimately saving them time, money and making them more effective.

How do you tell if something was written by an AI? ›

GLTR is currently the most visual way to predict if casual portions of text have been written with AI. To use GLTR, simply copy and paste a piece of text into the input box and hit "analyze."

Who is the most human like AI? ›

Sophia. Sophia is considered the most advanced humanoid robot.

Is AI already smarter than humans? ›

AI may already be smarter than us

That leads Hinton to the conclusion that AI systems might already be outsmarting us. Not only can AI systems learn things faster, he notes, they can also share copies of their knowledge with each other almost instantly.

Can AI copy the human brain? ›

While it is possible for artificial intelligence (AI) to mimic the movements of a human body, it cannot perfectly clone the human brain.

What is the controversy behind AI art? ›

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, new research has just proven that, yes, AI art generators reproduce copyrighted imagery. Image diffusion models such as DALL-E 2, Imagen, and Stable Diffusion have hogged headlines over the last few months thanks to their scarily detailed text-to-image generation.

What are the downsides of AI copywriting? ›

While copy AI algorithms can produce high-quality content, they may not be able to capture the unique voice and perspective of a human writer. This can make the content feel impersonal and lacking in personality, which can turn off some readers. Another risk of using copy AI in business is that it can be expensive.

Is AI writer worth it? ›

AI writing tools are excellent for businesses that conduct content marketing. If you're constantly producing copy for blog posts, website landing pages, product descriptions, ads, social media posts, video descriptions, and/or emails, AI writing software can help you.

Is using AI to write essays bad? ›

With plagiarism detection software getting increasingly sophisticated, they have the capability to detect if an essay is written by a human or AI. This is considered to be plagiarism and can lead to academic penalties such as failing grades or expulsion.

What is the ethical problem with AI art? ›

AI Art takes jobs from human artists, designers, illustrators, and uses their work without their consent or compensation to create what it calls “new work”. It also devalues the years of practice, unique vision, skill and experience that human artists work hard for.

What is the best argument against AI art? ›

The case against AI art

The first is the most easily dismissed, as it claims that AI art programs mash or stitch existing images together to create something new. This is simply not how the technology works. These AI models “learn” how to create in ways that are not entirely dissimilar to how the brain learns.

What are the three advantages and three disadvantages of AI? ›

The advantages range from streamlining, saving time, eliminating biases, and automating repetitive tasks, just to name a few. The disadvantages are things like costly implementation, potential human job loss, and lack of emotion and creativity.

Is AI a threat to artists? ›

At the moment, most AI-generated art falls well short of the standards set by human artists. But as the technology rapidly advances, there's real concern that it will quickly become sophisticated enough to make creative professionals obsolete, or at least disrupt the economic model that makes art a viable career.

Will AI replace humans jobs? ›

As a result, new job opportunities will be created. Moreover, with the evolution of AI, there are several advantages to using AI models over traditional analytic methods. While this would certainly displace certain human jobs, it will also pave the way for newer, more skilled labour.

Does Google recognize AI writing? ›

Correct: Google has become increasingly adept at detecting AI content. It uses a variety of techniques to identify and flag machine-generated content, including natural language processing (NLP) algorithms that analyze the text for patterns and syntax that are common in computer-generated writing.

Is using AI considered cheating? ›

In a new BestColleges survey of 1,000 current undergraduate and graduate students, just over half of students (51%) agree that using AI tools to complete assignments and exams counts as cheating or plagiarism.

Can schools detect AI writing? ›

Over 2.1 million educators using Turnitin, which provides plagiarism detection and prevention tools, will be able to spot writing produced by artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT in students' assignments, the company announced.

Is using AI not cheating? ›

If you're a student who is using AI to finish sentences and find words, you're not really cheating. You're just using a tool to help you overcome linguistic barriers. However, if you're using AI to write an entire paper, you might be cheating. The computer is doing all the work.


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