Hollywood studios push for AI replica actors
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers' AI proposal, which included collecting scans of background actors for use not only in a single production but in any project, was initially made public at the SAG-AFTRA strike declaration. Hollywood studios are after AI replica versions of Hollywood stars.
The head negotiator for SAG-AFTRA, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, disclosed a Hollywood studio plan that sounds like it belongs in a Black Mirror episode. Regardless of how it exploits working-class people or undervalues artists, this kind of investment in AI is growing across a variety of businesses.
These claimed "groundbreaking" AI concessions made by the AMPTP during negotiations, if anything, will assist in demonstrating the urgent necessity of SAG-AFTRA striking. One of the SAG-AFTRA leaders, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, addressed it in remarks, saying: “They proposed that our background performers should be able to be scanned, get one day’s pay, and their company should own that scan, their image, their likeness and should be able to use it for the rest of eternity, in any project they want with no consent and with no compensation.”
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) had expressed similar worries about the employment of AI when it started its strike in May. The guild's plan for AI regulation included a restriction on AI creating or editing "literary material," using AI to create sources for writers, and restricting the training of AI tools on content created by the guild's writers. The AMPTP declined this suggestion and proposed that annual meetings be held "to discuss technological advancements."
"We will be replaced by machines"
In her opening remarks at the press conference, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher said, "If we don't stand tall right now, we are all going to be in trouble; we are all going to be in jeopardy of being replaced by machines." The use of generative AI has been one of the major sticking points in negotiations between the two sides. It is also a major reason for the writer's strike.
The AMPTP disputed SAG-AFTRA's assertion that background performers' digital representations could be used indefinitely without permission or payment. It said that under the existing idea, the digital copy may only be used for the film in which the background actor is cast. The studios stated that any additional uses would necessitate the actor's approval and negotiation for the use, subject to a minimum remuneration.Advertisement