The 65,000 Hollywood actors now on strike in the U.S. have much in common with the 11,000 script writers who remain off the job because of a labor dispute with the motion picture studios. Among those shared grievances: concerns that studio executives want to replace them with artificial intelligence.
For the many background actors whose names and faces aren’t instantly recognizable, the advent of ever more powerful types of AI threatens their ability to make ends meet in what is already a highly stratified industry, according to the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which is representing the actors.
That has put the issue of how studios want to use AI in TV and movies at the center of the fight, along with the impact of streaming services on performers’ pay.
“Actors now face an existential threat to their livelihoods from the use of AI and generative technology,” Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the union’s national executive director, said Thursday in a news conference in Los Angeles declaring the strike action. “They proposed that our background performers should be able to be scanned, get paid for one day’s pay, and the company should be able to own that scan, that likeness, for the rest of eternity, on any project they want, with no consent and no compensation.” [Continue reading…]