Hollywood Writer Strike: Will AI Be the End of Screenwriters?

Striking writers hold signs as they march and picket calling for better wages, Tuesday, May 2, 2023, outside Peacock NewFront in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The ongoing Hollywood writer strike is causing major disruptions in the entertainment industry. Roughly 15,000 members of the Writer’s Guild of America(WGA) are on strike. The deliberate event has affected several popular TV shows and movies. Negotiations for a fresh contract between studios and writers have failed. This has forced a production halt in Hollywood. Viewers and fans are now concerned about the future of their favorite tele shows and movies.

Late-night shows like The Tonight Show, Late Night With Seth Meyers, and many more have stopped airing. There is a production halt for MCU films like Blade and Thunderbolts.

 Reasons Behind the Strike

Though demand for better pay is the reason why the Writers Guild of America is striking, AI is escalating the rising tensions.

According to the screenwriters AI chatbots like chatgpt could well be used to generate the first draft. Writers will then be hired at a lower pay rate to do the finishing touch on the script.

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Michael Winship, President of WGA says that writers are not against AI. These chatbots can be helpful in many ways. But people are using these tools against human writers to produce mediocrity. This is an infringement of copyright.

The guild is seeking more safeguards on the use of AI in screenwriting. It says studios are not clear on this issue. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has proposed an annual meeting with the guild to discuss definitions surrounding the rapidly advancing technology.

The Threat AI is Posing to Humanity

Experts say this is just the beginning of the struggles screenwriters are facing due to generative AI. World Economic Forum predicts a disruption for almost a quarter of all jobs by the next 5 years.

Geoffrey Hinton, the Godfather of AI, recently left Google to speak freely about its potential dangers. “It’s hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things,” Hinton expressed his deep concern.

So here is the ultimate question. Looking at how dangerously AI is posing a threat to mankind, is it not the time to set clear boundaries and guidelines for this Frankenstein?

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