The Hollywood writers’ strike, which began this week, was sparked by pay disputes, but the refusal of major studios like Netflix and Disney to rule out artificial intelligence (AI) replacing human writers has only escalated the situation. The rapid advancement of AI programs like ChatGPT, which can eerily mimic human conversation, has sparked fear among many industries. The White House has even summoned Big Tech to discuss potential risks.
Proposals by the Writers Guild of America
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) asked for binding agreements to regulate the use of AI during weeks-long talks with studios and streamers that collapsed on Monday. According to WGA, studios rejected the proposal and only offered to meet once a year to “discuss advancements in technology.” The proposals stated that nothing written by AI can be considered “literary” or “source” material, and scripts written by WGA members cannot “be used to train AI.”
The Dangers of AI in Writing
As per WGA members, art cannot be created by a machine as it loses the heart and soul of the story. Though writers are aware of this, the danger is that tech companies may destroy the business in an attempt to find out for themselves. Hollywood executives believe that AI can do the job of writers and may seek to cut costs further by getting computers to write their next hit shows.
The Need for Guardrails
The studios have claimed that writers do not want to outlaw AI and are happy to use it as part of their creative process as long as it does not affect their pay. However, introducing legislation to put guardrails up to prevent AI from replacing writers is necessary, according to sci-fi writer Ben Ripley. Writers have to be original, and AI is the antithesis of originality.
In conclusion, the Hollywood writers’ strike has brought the use of AI in writing to the forefront. While AI may have its uses in writing, there is a fear that it may replace human writers, leading to a loss of creativity and originality. The need for legislation to regulate the use of AI in writing is necessary to prevent the destruction of the writing business.