Writers of Hollywood strike against streaming and AI

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Hollywood has completely stopped due to the Writers Guild of America strike, and it will take a while before it goes back to normal.

The strike, impacting movie and TV show productions, had been considered a possibility since at least the beginning of the year and officially started at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time Zone on May 2nd. At the time of the release of this video, it remains unresolved, potentially causing billions in damages to production companies.

Points of contention include residuals from shows and movies released on streaming platforms, as the WGA claims that the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers’ share of such residuals cut much of writers’ average incomes compared to a decade ago, and the possibility of productions companies using ChatGPT to effectively replace writers instead of being merely used as an aid tool.

The last writer’s strike happened in 2007, which concerned residuals of DVD sales, animation programs, reality shows, and, possibly, the one issue overlapping the most with the current strike, residuals for the so-called “new media,” including what would eventually become streaming platforms.

The lackluster reception for blockbuster movies such as “007: Quantum of Solace”, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” and the demise of the T.V. show “Heroes” despite a trendy first season are some examples of content suffering due to production companies pushing productions through during that writer’s strike.

While residuals from streamers are the main issue, as seasons are shortened and many shows are canceled before they genuinely have a chance to take off, the shadow of A.I. has loomed over the proceedings.

At first, A.I. and chatbots weren’t considered a concern by writers, even as ChatGPT became more ubiquitous and tech companies started showing off their versions of A.I., such as Google’s Bard… However, the technology behind A.I. is developing extremely rapidly, producing works of art virtually indistinguishable from their real-life counterparts like “Heart on my Sleeve,” the infamous A.I. generated Drake and The Weeknd collaboration that went viral in April.

This alarmed writers and content creators enough, but as the strike became increasingly possible, executives began considering using A.I. to cross the picket line or even replace writers for good.

However, Hollywood and the entertainment industry are far from the only ones that an A.I. laboral takeover would impact… A recent study by Goldman Sachs revealed that generative A.I. could affect up to 300 million full-time jobs online, significantly disrupting the job market, with administrative and legal roles being the ones most at risk.

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