AI Causes Strike in Hollywood: A Day in the Life of Film Scanning

Working for a day, as a scan throughout the film: AI as a reason for a strike in Hollywood

US screenwriters went on strike on Friday night, followed by actors two and a half months later. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is at the center of the conflict, with studios and streaming services proposing the scanning and use of digital images of background actors. However, the actors’ union, SAG-AFTRA, disagrees with this proposal. They claim that the studios and streaming services want to use these digital images indefinitely, while the union argues they should only be used for the films they were made for. The proposal has drawn comparisons to the dystopian series “Black Mirror”. The strike, which coincides with the ongoing writers’ strike, is the first of its kind in over 60 years. Both strikes are motivated by concerns about the impact of AI on the entertainment industry. Around 160,000 film and television actors have joined the strike, alongside the approximately 11,500 writers. The president of SAG-AFTRA, Fran Drescher, warns that failure to stand up now against the encroachment of AI could lead to actors being replaced by machines. As a result of the strikes, all ongoing film and television productions affected by the writers’ strike have been suspended. Striking actors will not attend premieres, festivals, or promotional events, including the upcoming San Diego Comic Con. The studios and streaming services view the union’s actions as financially damaging. Some industry insiders suggest that the strikes will continue until union members face personal financial hardship.

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