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Actors vs. AI: The Battle for Creative Rights Intensifies

1 Mins read

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Actors Union President Highlights the Threat of AI in Hollywood

Fran Drescher, president of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), warns of the existential threat posed by artificial intelligence to creative professions. In a news conference, she emphasizes the need for contract language that safeguards actors and performers from having their identity and talent exploited without consent and fair compensation.

Solidarity with Screenwriters as Unions Demand AI Regulations

SAG-AFTRA joins forces with the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) in their ongoing strike, demanding explicit AI regulations to protect writers and their creations. The WGA demands that AI cannot write or rewrite literary material, serve as source material, or be used to train AI models.

AI’s Advancements and Shortcomings in Hollywood

Generative AI tools have become increasingly effective in creating images and text, with technologies replicating individuals’ faces and voices gaining prominence in Hollywood. However, there are limitations to these AI systems, as they often provide inaccurate information and lack creativity when tasked with writing original works.

Concerns of Creative Professionals Extend Beyond Actors

Entertainers and professionals in creative fields express anxiety over the potential replication and remixing of their work by AI tools. Without stringent regulation, they fear losing control over their creations and compromising their ability to earn a living.

Disputes and Negotiations Over AI Rules

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s chief negotiator, accuses studios of exploiting actors without speaking roles in their proposed AI rules. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) disputes this claim, stating that the use of background actors’ digital replicas requires consent and compensation beyond a minimum payment.

The Call for Aggressive AI Rights from Entertainment Unions

The Director’s Guild of America (DGA) manages to secure some AI protections in its contract by stipulating that duties must be assigned to a person, and generative AI does not qualify as a person. Justine Bateman, a member of multiple unions, advises on AI issues and highlights the opportune timing of the negotiations aligning with the widespread availability of generative AI products.


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