Hollywood is experiencing a crisis led by the writers, who are currently mobilized. The Writers Guild of AmericaWGA for its acronym in English, had been in negotiations for six weeks with different entertainment companies, including Amazon, Netflix, Apple and Disney, belonging to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), and is currently find paralyzed, with the intention of improving their working conditions, although, on this occasion, one of the main reasons is the use of AIs such as ChatGPT for writing scripts, a tool that they feel is a threat to their jobs.
The WGA, which brings together thousands of writers from different television and entertainment areas, including the writing of films, series, television, news, and digital media, has actively manifested itself towards the production companies with the intention of improving the situation of workers in this area, with requests to improve wages, workspaces and benefits; Among all the requests, the request to regulate the use of Artificial Intelligence tools, such as ChatGPT-4 for writing, is added: It is requested that the AI not be used to write or rewrite literary material, not be used as starting material for projects, and that protected scripts not be used to train it. For its part, the AMPTP, like many of the requests, He rejected this request, giving as the only possible negotiation, holding annual meetings to “discuss technological advances.”
The response from the companies was not enough for the writers, who feel insulted by the denial of this proposal, among many others. John August, a writer who worked on Charlie’s Angels and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, mentioned to Vice that concern about AIs was much lower at first, since the union’s requests were linked to requesting benefits and improve salaries, which they consider, as writers, to be very low for the importance they have in creating content. However, the rapid evolution of AIs poses a threat to them due to studios’ habit of avoiding writers: “Studios would like to treat writers as freelancers. They want to hire us for one day at a time, one draft at a time, and get rid of us as quickly as possible. I think they see AI as another way to do that.”. In this regard, the response of annual meetings is not relaxing at all: “AI-generated material is not something that is going to become a major factor in a few years. It’s here now. It is fortunate that we are negotiating our contracts this year and not next, before these systems take hold.”
In South Park, the creators credited ChatGPT as one of the writers for one episode. Kidding or not, AIs are already considered in the writing world.
This is the first time in 15 years that Hollywood writers have been paralyzed, the previous time being, in 2007, driven by the low wages received in the sale of DVD’s and transmissions on Streaming sites., something that resulted in improvements in the conditions of the writers. The writers’ strike in the United States has generated a wide debate about the use of artificial intelligence in writing. While some advocate the use of AI as a tool that can enhance writers’ creativity, others fear that its use could lead to job losses, and its use is not far from the truth: South Park mentions ChatGPT as one of the writers of a chapter, implying that AI can be used to create scripts. The future of writing in Hollywood is uncertain, but one thing is certain: writers are determined to fight for their rights and protect their work from automation, and hope for a better deal with US studios for their part.