Hollywood Unions Secure Protections Against AI Threats in Tentative Deal with Studios

Hollywood Unions Secure Protections Against AI Threats in Tentative Deal with Studios

In a 10-tweet thread, the Screen Actors Guild—American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) announced a groundbreaking tentative agreement with Hollywood studios, addressing concerns related to generative AI. The tweets highlighted the deal’s extraordinary scope, encompassing “above-pattern” minimum compensation increases and unprecedented provisions for consent and compensation to safeguard members from the perceived threat of AI. For the first time, the agreement also establishes a streaming participation bonus.

The term “threat” in the context of artificial intelligence has become increasingly prevalent, with U.S. President Joe Biden’s recent executive order and a global agreement among 28 countries, including the European Union and China, acknowledging the serious risks posed by AI. In Hollywood, the primary fear was the potential misuse of AI to scan actors and replicate their performances without consent or compensation and the application of large language models to scripts, potentially sidelining screenwriters.

While the exact terms of the SAG-AFTRA and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) contract remain undisclosed until reviewed by the guild’s national board, SAG’s tweets suggest that AI protections were a crucial aspect of the negotiations. The Hollywood Reporter indicated that the AMPTP’s initial proposal sought to permit studios to pay for AI scans of “Schedule F” performers, using those scans posthumously without consent. In response, the guild insisted on compensation and consent rights.

As the SAG-AFTRA deal is expected to be finalized, it will shed light on whether equivalent safeguards have been secured. AI has emerged as a central point of contention in labor disputes within the entertainment industry this year. The ongoing evolution of streaming platforms and the potential for AI to generate content independently prompted unions to seek enhanced compensation models.

The impact of streaming’s dominance, disrupting traditional compensation structures, has been a key consideration, signaling a shift from a 1970s business model to a 2023 framework aligned with the evolving streaming landscape. The emphasis on addressing AI concerns reflects the industry’s awareness of artificial intelligence’s transformative potential and challenges.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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