One of the main protections sought by the Writer Guild of America during its recent strike was related to the use of artificial intelligence.
The negotiation was closely watched because it would set the tone for AI use in many other contexts.
The strike was about many things including wages, benefits, hours worked, and obviously revenue from streaming content which had upended the payscale for writers and actors alike.
But the conversation around AI was, in the minds of many, central to the very future of the work writers provide.
What is so unusual about this is that historically technology issues were rarely a bargaining chip because management saw this as their purview.
The Writers’ original ask back in May when the strike began was for regulation in the use of generative AI; specifically, that AIs could not be used to create or rewrite literary material; can’t be used as source material; and can’t be used to train AI.
The AMPTP flatly rejected this in favor of an annual meeting to review the use of technology.
But a great deal has evolved since May regarding the topic of AI in society as is reflected in the ultimate outcome.
In the final outcome, the AMPTP agreed to all the writers’ asks, giving writers the ability to use AI to help speed their writing, but not replace them.
Producers must disclose if any part of a script was created using AI before involving a new writer.
The Writers laid the groundwork for SAG/AFTRA who are still striking and negotiating their own AI matters, as well as many other collective bargaining fights yet to come.