- After a cautious approach to ChatGPT-type products, guilds and creators are becoming more vocal about limiting AI’s influence in entertainment.
- From writing and directing to producing and marketing, AI is being used in various ways to make Hollywood more efficient and effective.
- However, with these advancements come potential risks and challenges, such as the loss of creative control and the homogenization of output.
SEE IT AT NAB SHOW: NAB Show: Generative AI, Bringing Together the “Why” and “How”
AI is being introduced to the creative industries at pace and at what some see at the risk of loss of control. On the one hand, ChatGPT, Midjourney, DALL-E and others, are being marketed as tools to aid the creative process by speeding up time-sapping processes and providing a spark for ideation.
Not everyone has bought into this narrative, however, and now writers are following artists in speaking out against the wholescale introduction of AI without due consideration for its impact.
“After a cautious approach to ChatGPT-type products, guilds and creators are becoming more vocal about limiting AI’s influence in entertainment,” reports J. Clara Chan in The Hollywood Reporter.
Creators like Cassey Ho, who’s behind the popular fitness brands Blogilates and Popflex, say they’re wary of supporting AI tools that can easily exploit the work of artists.
“I like the idea of it being a co-pilot, but when it’s riding off the backs of creatives, I don’t feel good about it,” Ho said at SXSW, as reported by THR.
The same anxieties around credit and compensation extend into the inner workings of Hollywood, where unanswered questions about AI’s ability to transform the future of entertainment have already informed discussions at unions like the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA as writers and actors, among others, seek to protect their work and right to compensation.
“Human creators are the foundation of the creative industries and we must ensure that they are respected and paid for their work,” SAG-AFTRA said in a statement on March 17. “Governments should not create new copyright or other IP exemptions that allow AI developers to exploit creative works, or professional voices and likenesses, without permission or compensation. Trustworthiness and transparency are essential to the success of AI. SAG-AFTRA will continue to prioritize the protection of our member performers against the unauthorized use of their voices, likenesses and performances.”
The Writers Guild is also in the midst of negotiations with studios around the use of AI in the writing process, likening tools like ChatGPT to research material like, for instance, Wikipedia. “The WGA’s proposal to regulate use of material produced using artificial intelligence or similar technologies ensures the Companies can’t use AI to undermine writers’ working standards including compensation, residuals, separated rights and credits,” the guild wrote.
Earlier this month, the US Copyright Office declared that AI-”assisted” works could be eligible for copyright protection. It stated: “Based on the Office’s understanding of the generative AI technologies currently available, users do not exercise ultimate creative control over how such systems interpret prompts and generate material.”
Yet this hasn’t assuaged many creatives.
“There’s a fine line between when is something inspiring someone versus when is someone just ripping off or absolutely treading protected intellectual property,” insisted Candle Media’s chief development officer, Brent Weinstein, at SXSW. “AI is going to force us to examine that fine line and rules will be written, and we will all adapt to a new world order.”
Writers won’t be the only ones affected by this new trend. Directors should also be concerned, writes Jason Hellerman at No Film School.
On the positive side, AI could be used to create virtual sets, which could help directors visualize scenes and make decisions about camera angles and lighting before filming begins. AI could also be used to analyze and edit footage, making the post-production process more efficient and cost-effective.
However, AI could potentially replace human directors altogether. “We would instead have computers trying to tell us about the human experience or estimating emotions they are not complex enough to feel. This could lead toward an overreliance on tropes or the points of view of the people who created the AI, which may not be reflexive as a whole.”
When it comes to producing, AI could be used to help producers with tasks such as predicting audience response, optimizing marketing strategies, and even identifying potential investment opportunities.
AI algorithms could analyze audience data to predict which types of films or TV shows are likely to be successful, helping producers make more informed decisions about what projects to pursue. AI could also be used to analyze marketing data and make recommendations about how to reach and engage audiences more effectively.
“In reality, this kind of intelligence might completely eliminate producers,” says Hellerman. “Who needs someone to make calls to package when a computer can send form emails to agents or use its metrics to decide which projects it should be greenlighting?”
To underline the point, Hellerman reveals that the article under his name was largely written by AI, albeit tuned and polished by the author. ChatGPT even mimicked the No Film School website format.
From writing and directing to producing and marketing, AI is being used in various ways to make Hollywood more efficient and effective. “However, with these advancements come potential risks and challenges, such as the loss of creative control and the homogenization of output,” Chan suggests.
The fact is, contends Hellerman, “when giant corporations buy a bunch of Hollywood companies, they are looking for ways to strip the movie and TV process down. How can we employ fewer people and maximize profits? Well, I think they will do it with computer-generated stories and positions.
“That spells less creativity and originality and work for us all.”