27 Jul Studios Quietly Go on Hiring Spree for AI Specialist Jobs Amid Picket Line Anxiety [The Hollywood Reporter]
BY ALEX WEPRIN
July 27, 2023 | While the writer and actor strikes are driven by multiple concerns (questions about compensation being a big one), there’s no question that the role of artificial intelligence in entertainment has emerged as a hot-button issue.
In a fiery speech in Times Square on July 25, actor Bryan Cranston epitomized the concerns of actors, telling the crowd of hundreds: “We’ve got a message for Mr. Iger [Disney CEO Bob Iger]: I know, sir, that you look at things through a different lens. We don’t expect you to understand who we are. But we ask you to hear us, and beyond that to listen to us when we tell you we will not be having our jobs taken away and given to robots.”
The actors fear that studios will take their likenesses or voices, and reuse them over and over for little or no pay, and with little in the way of notice. The writers fear that studios will use large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT to write or rewrite scripts, harming their livelihoods. The producers, aka the AMPTP, argue that AI use should be “a balanced approach based on careful use, not prohibition.”
While the future of AI in Hollywood is unclear, there is no question that the major studios and streaming services are intrigued by the technology. Job listings at almost every major entertainment company show that there is a veritable AI hiring spree going on as companies seek to understand how the technology can change their businesses.