Hollywood's storied history with technology's disruptive forces reaches a new chapter as artificial intelligence (AI) steps onto the scene, not as an understudy but as a potential co-star.
The narrative spun by industry leaders like Cristóbal Valenzuela, CEO of AI video company Runway, isn't one of replacement but of augmentation.
"It's important to understand that technology always augments humans, and the story of Hollywood has been marred by moments like this before," Valenzuela explained, positioning AI as a complement to human talent.
AI movies are coming , goodbye Hollywood 😆 pic.twitter.com/NWQkVlezIn— Ravi__ (@maverick1975_) November 4, 2023
Is AI the New Hollywood Co-Star?
The emerging role of AI promises to bolster creativity, much like how sound technology transitioned the movie industry from silent films to talkies — changing the orchestra pit into a hub for soundtracks and scores.
Yet, as AI's role broadens, so do concerns over its legal and ethical implications.
The rapid advancement of AI has not only spurred innovation but also ignited legal battles and strikes. Labor strikes by SAG-AFTRA signal the industry's concern over AI's potential to displace human roles.
As the union noted, "This career is viable now AND in the future," underscoring the need for fair contracts in an evolving industry.
The recent labor actions, encapsulating the industry's trepidation and hope, have led to "unprecedented provisions for consent and compensation that will protect members from the threat of AI," as SAG-AFTRA secured a contract valued at over $1 billion.
The Future of Media Is Transforming
With AI's encroachment, the future of media consumption is poised for transformation.
Content generation could become more personalized, but as one SAG-AFTRA negotiator emphasized, it's essential that "workers and unions remain at the forefront of policy development" to ensure AI's ethical and responsible use.
In this new era, AI-generated content's legal ramifications have become as pivotal as its creative ones.
Hollywood actors and writers, standing firm during the strikes, have voiced their stance.
"Actors now face an existential threat to their livelihoods from the use of AI and generative technology,” argued Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA's national executive director and chief negotiator.
As Hollywood's tale with AI unfolds, the union strikes and negotiations will be remembered as a pivotal scene where creativity and technology negotiated their roles.
The agreements forged with SAG-AFTRA and WGA set a stage for AI as a tool, not a tyrant, under the bright lights of Hollywood's future.
The industry must now navigate this partnership, ensuring that the human element remains the soul of storytelling.
Edited by Nikola Djuric