[11:05 Sat,6.May 2023 by blip]
After long and unsuccessful negotiations between the screenwriters& union (WGA) and the trade association AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers), no series, films and the like are currently being written, pitched, conceptualized or adapted in the USA - there is a strike. While on the surface it&s mainly about pay - which has gotten (worse) almost across the board in recent years www.wgacontract2023.org/updates/bulletins/writers-are-not-keeping-up - artificial writing algorithms, which have been coming on strong for some time, also play a major role in the conflict.
Although the large language models on which ChatGPT & co are based are not (yet?) good enough to write longer, coherent scripts worth watching, they can already be used to create various collections of ideas, drafts or rough versions for plots or dialogs at the push of a button. However, since the pay scale for writing work differentiates between rewriting and revising - the latter is paid much less - screenwriters are sounding the alarm. That&s because it&s safe to assume that studios will cut budgets in a big way by using AI where possible.
The following tweet sums it up well: "The immediate fear of AI isn&t that we writers will have our work replaced by artificially generated content. It&s that we will be underpaid to rewrite that trash into something we could have done better from the start. This is what the WGA is opposing and the studios want."
For screenwriters, then, these negotiations are all about regulating a technology that seems to offer many tasks in the screenwriting business for virtually nothing, but actually still needs real writers on its side. (And which, incidentally, was trained on scripts written by those who are now to be cut).
In order not to be degraded to a kind of underpaid stooge, the screenwriters demand, among other things, that AI-generated material may not count as a template (which is then merely adapted), and that an AI may also not be listed as the author of a screenplay; this would still have to be a human. The AMPTP, on the other hand, wants annual meetings to re-evaluate the state of AI technology. With the stakes so high and viewpoints so strongly divergent, how an agreement can be reached, and when, will be interesting to see.
Ironically, due to the lack of human-made scripts, the strike may result in largely AI-written film/TV content (a horrible word, but one that fits well here) being produced and shown sooner than anticipated.
more infos at bei www.vox.com
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