The actors’ strike, which has been the longest in the history of the Actors’ Union, is set to officially come to an end with the new contract ratified. On Monday, the leadership of the American Federation of Television and Radio […]
The actors’ strike, which has been the longest in the history of the Actors’ Union, is set to officially come to an end with the new contract ratified. On Monday, the leadership of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) held webinars for its members to discuss the contract they reached a temporary agreement on with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) last week.
One of the most controversial and frightening elements of the strike has been artificial intelligence (AI). In response, the Actors’ Union has included extensive measures for AI protection in their new contract, requiring consent and compensation for all actors, regardless of their status. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) has gone further than the Directors Guild of America (DGA) or the Writers Guild of America (WGA), surpassing both unions in reaching an agreement with the AMPTP. This does not mean that the SAG has succeeded where other unions have failed, but rather that actors face a more pronounced and persistent threat from advancements in machine learning and other computer technologies.
The SAG’s agreement on AI is similar to the ones made by the DGA and WGA in demanding protection whenever machine learning tools are used to manipulate or exploit their work. All three unions claim that their AI agreements are “historic” and “protective,” serving as important guidelines, regardless of whether one agrees with their efficacy. Artificial intelligence poses not only a threat to writers and actors but also has consequences for workers in all fields, whether creative or otherwise.