AI isn’t going to replace human scriptwriters any time soon.
At least that’s the message the Writers Guild of America is sending to major Hollywood studios.
As artificial intelligence becomes more ubiquitous, the WGA has proposed a series of new rules to regulate the technology in film and television production.
The WGA, which is in the midst of contract negotiations with the Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance, outlined its proposals in a series of posts on Twitter Wednesday.
The union said it is seeking assurances from major studios that AI-generated text cannot be used as source material or to rewrite work that is covered by the union’s contract; the work cannot be considered in determining writing credits; and that writers also cannot be assigned AI-generated material to adapt.
“They can make the writer aware of AI-generated content,” the WGA posted on its Twitter account. “But, like all research material, it has no role in the work covered by the guild, nor in the chain of title to intellectual property. It is important to note that AI software does not create anything. It generates a regurgitation of what is fed”.
The WGA previously included the issue of AI regulation in its so-called pattern of lawsuits filed against studios earlier this month.
The talks are being closely watched amid fears they could lead to a strike over disagreements over how writers should be compensated for their work that ends up on streaming platforms.
The two sides exchanged proposals ahead of talks that began Monday at the Sherman Oaks offices of AMPTP, which represents major studios and broadcasting companies. The first round of submissions is expected to last two weeks and then resume before the current three-year film and television contract expires on May 1.
The contract between the two parties already describes a writer as a person, but the union wants to make sure studios don’t use AI to circumvent their members.
“We’re going to make sure it’s clearly and explicitly stated that you can’t replace a writer with AI,” David Goodman, former WGA president and co-chair of the bargaining committee, told The Times in an interview last week.
The AMPTP was not immediately available for comment.