Photo was created by Webthat using MidJourney
Netflix Faces Backlash Over $900k AI Job Amid Hollywood Strikes
Netflix has sparked outrage among striking Hollywood actors and writers by posting a job advertisement for an artificial intelligence (AI) expert. The new position will be a part of Netflix’s Machine Learning Platform team, responsible for driving the Netflix algorithm that assists viewers in choosing new programs to watch.
However, the substantial annual salary of up to $900,000 (£700,000) has further fueled the anger of Hollywood unions, who are currently on strike due to concerns about AI Job impact on the entertainment industry and wages.
Uncertainty Surrounding Netflix’s AI Job Role
The job listing for the AI expert on Netflix’s Machine Learning Platform team has raised questions about its precise responsibilities. While it remains unclear whether the role will advise on content decisions for TV programs and films, another open listing for a product manager on the same team suggests that the future employee will be involved in assessing funding needs for different programs using AI Job. Hollywood unions, particularly Sag-Aftra, are concerned that algorithms have gained too much power, affecting the number of episodes per season and the overall longevity of TV series.
Hollywood Unions’ Fears Regarding AI in Entertainment
Sag-Aftra, the union representing actors, and the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) have expressed their concerns over the use of AI in the entertainment industry. Sag-Aftra has voiced fears that algorithms are determining the success of films and TV shows, impacting the livelihood of actors and other industry professionals. The WGA has proposed a system to regulate AI’s use in the writing process, preventing it from being used as source material. Both unions are currently on strike, aiming to address these pressing issues.
Netflix’s Stance on AI and Creativity
Netflix has defended its use of AI while facing criticism from Hollywood unions. The streaming giant maintains that AI will not replace the creative process and that the best stories are still those that originate from people’s unique experiences and insights. Despite this assurance, the recent AI-based job listing has triggered sharp reactions from striking actors, who argue that the substantial salary offered could instead support numerous actors and their families’ health insurance needs.
Industry Figures Condemn Netflix’s AI Hiring
Renowned figures from the entertainment industry have publicly criticized Netflix’s decision to recruit an AI expert at such a high salary amidst the ongoing strike. Actor Rob Delaney pointed out that the earnings of one AI employee could provide health insurance benefits for 35 actors and their families, calling the move “ghoulish.” Javier Grillo-Marxuach, known for his work on the series Lost, accused Netflix of hypocrisy, claiming they were recruiting well-paid AI experts while claiming financial constraints.
Netflix’s New App Amidst Controversy
Amidst the controversy surrounding its AI job listing and the ongoing Hollywood strikes, Netflix has announced the launch of a new app called “My Netflix.” The app is designed as a personalized one-stop shop, offering easy shortcuts to help users find their preferred content. However, the launch coincides with the intense debate over AI’s role in shaping content and the concerns raised by Hollywood unions. The fate of the strike and the impact of AI on the entertainment industry remain uncertain as both sides continue their discussions.