The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) recently reached a tentative agreement that includes various protections related to artificial intelligence (AI). While these rules are specific to Hollywood, experts believe that the overall debate and power given to workers through this agreement could extend to other labor battles beyond the scope of television and movies.
Concerns over the risks posed by AI technology to workers have been growing, making it necessary for the WGA to address these issues and protect their members. John August, a member of the WGA negotiating committee, stated that this negotiation was not intended to set a precedent but to safeguard workers from anticipated threats over the next three years. He referred to the timing of this battle as a “fluke,” as it was the first time AI had been a topic in the guild’s negotiations and potentially any labor organization’s negotiations.
The agreement between writers and studios grants significant influence to Hollywood writers regarding the use of generative AI tools for television and movie scripts. According to a summary released by the WGA, writers have the right to choose to use AI with the consent of the company, as long as they follow applicable company policies. However, a studio cannot force a writer to use AI, offering writers a level of control over their creative process.
Sharon Block, a professor and executive director of the Center for Labor and a Just Economy at Harvard Law School, highlights the substantial say union members now have in determining how AI technology will be used. This agreement could serve as a new standard for AI protections and influence labor negotiations in other industries as well.
The protection of workers’ rights in the face of advancing AI technology is a crucial issue that demands attention across various sectors. By establishing guidelines and giving workers a voice in the use of AI, this agreement sets an example for other industries to follow. It emphasizes the importance of considering the impact of AI on workers and ensuring that their rights and interests are protected.
For more information on this topic, you can read the full report on TheHill.com.