Writers stop AI takeover. Or not?

Published

“Writers stop AI takeover. For now. “

“How Hollywood writers triumphed over AI”

You will find these (and other) titles today, about an averted conflict between AI and writers. In fact, in a pivotal moment in Hollywood’s history, writers have successfully concluded a 148-day strike, one of the lengthiest ever seen in the industry. The result? A groundbreaking agreement that places stringent guidelines on the utilisation of AI technology in film and television projects.

From the deal:

AI can’t write or rewrite literary material, and AI-generated material will not be considered source material under the MBA, meaning that AI-generated material can’t be used to undermine a writer’s credit or separated rights.

And

A writer can choose to use AI when performing writing services, if the company consents and provided that the writer follows applicable company policies, but the company can’t require the writer to use AI software (e.g., ChatGPT) when performing writing services.

If you think it’s all about writers vs. AI, then you are wrong; rather, it’s a pivotal showdown between writers and studios.

As Simon Johnson, an economist at MIT specializing in AI and technological transformation, pointed out, “AI is now under the control of the writers, not under the control of the studios. It’s not intended as an automation technology; it’s complementary to humans.”

Writers didn’t protect themselves against the technology, they have embraced it as a powerful tool; writers protected themselves against studios – against other humans on the other side of the table. 

This new deal establishes firm guardrails to ensure that this cutting-edge technology remains under the control of the creative workers rather than being exploited by their employers, potentially to replace them.

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