Hollywood execs agree to restriction in AI use

Dive Brief:

  • Concerns about generative AI have taken center stage in Hollywood strike talks. Hollywood execs and the Writers Guild Association reached a tentative agreement, the WGA announced on Sept. 24, 2023. The minimum basic agreement (MBA) includes a clause around artificial intelligence. 
  • The MBA states that AI can’t write or rewrite literary material and that anything written by AI cannot be considered source material. Additionally, while writers can use AI if a company consents to it, a company cannot require a writer to use AI software such as ChatGPT. Notably, WGA can assert that using a writers’ material to train AI is a violation of the bargaining agreement.
  • The agreement — which also includes increased contributions for workers’ health and pension plans, increased compensation for series employment and other concessions — went into effect Sept. 25 and will last through May 1, 2026.

Dive Insight:

Generative AI concerns have plagued talent, particularly younger workers, who worry their entry-level roles may be replaced by AI. In Gallup’s September 2023 report, 22% of respondents said they’re worried their job will become obsolete, which is a 7% higher response than in 2021.

Gallup’s data showed that this fear largely affected college graduates, people aged 18-34 and people earning less than $100,000 — more so than their peers.

Despite major studios coming to an agreement with the WGA and DBA strikes, leaders there have halted talks with SAG-AFTRA, a labor union consisting of actors, announcers, and a broad range of other media professionals. 

The publicity around Hollywood’s talent striking for more ethical working conditions has inspired a wider set of labor actions that have taken place this year. As more and more workplaces continue to negotiate with unions, time will tell if AI best practice policies become the norm in creative industries and beyond.