Fear of AI Rising

(TheIndependentStar.com) Considering that groundbreaking technologies, specifically artificial intelligence, are surpassing human minds, a recent study revealed that 42% of movie and TV production workers worry that AI-generated content could “harm people” in their line of work.

This study, by the National Research Group (NRG) and highlighted by Indiewire, showed an increasing concern, especially among blue-collar crew members, that AI tech might drastically reduce the need for physical production which will allow studios to craft entire scenes using generative algorithms.

However, not everyone in Hollywood shares this pessimism.

The NRG study indicated that 32 % percent of movie and TV production workers believe AI will actually “benefit” them, while a quarter either think it will not affect them or are unsure of its impact.

This study coincided with negotiations between the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the Teamsters, and studios for new contracts covering most Hollywood crew members, which included post-production workers.

Hollywood’s swift adoption of AI followed last year’s strikes by actors and writers, who protested their compensation linked to digital streaming and the perceived threat of AI displacing their jobs.

These strikes caused significant disruption, forcing numerous TV and movie productions to halt for months and resulting in substantial losses for studios.

After the strikes, SAG-AFTRA claimed victories in safeguarding its actor members against AI intrusion. Yet, doubts persisted about the effectiveness of these protections, with critics arguing they may not offer sufficient safeguards, which left room for studios to maneuver.

Moreover, the Writers Guild of America also had a win. Studios must now reveal if AI generated any material given to writers, and writers cannot be compelled to use AI, nor can AI receive credit in a TV show or movie.

However, uncertainties remain. Some writers are already using AI tools like ChatGPT in their creative process, and studios are likely to seek legal gaps to leverage this technology.

Meanwhile, blue-collar Hollywood workers face the greatest risk from AI.

Tyler Perry recently canceled the construction of an $800 million studio expansion in Atlanta, Georgia, after he witnessed the capabilities of OpenAI’s Sora, a text-to-video application that can craft entire scenes based on typed prompts.

“I no longer would have to travel to locations. If I wanted to be in the snow in Colorado, it’s text,” he said. “If I wanted to write a scene on the moon, it’s text, and this AI can generate it like nothing.”

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