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TV writer David Simon says the industry will “infantilize itself” if AI is the future for scripts


David Simon, television writer known for The wire And Homicide: life on the streetshares his thoughts on artificial intelligence in Hollywood and writers’ rooms during the ongoing strike.

During a recent interview on NPRs Consider this podcastsaid Simon, “I’d rather put a gun in my mouth,” than use AI to write scenes for scripts.

He added: “I don’t think AI can remotely challenge what writers do on a fundamentally creative level.”

The use of AI has been one of the topics at the center of discussions in the film and TV industry, especially during the Writers Guild of America’s contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Writers are concerned and want to regulate the use of AI.

It is also one of the reasons why the negotiations between the WGA and AMPTP faltered at the beginning of this month and writers went on strike. The guild claimed that the AMPTP rejected his proposals and instead responded by offering annual meetings to discuss technological advances.

“Not only do I think it’s a fundamental violation of writers’ integrity and also of copyright,” explained Simon, who is also a member of the WGA’s negotiating committee. “When I sold all the scripts sold, 150 to HBO and maybe another 50 to NBC, I didn’t sell them so they could be thrown into a computer with other people and repurposed by a company.”

The co-creator of We own this city also clarified that he would not agree to a contract that saw a role for AI. “If that’s where this industry is headed, it will infantilize itself,” he added. “We’re all going to look at things we’ve seen before, only worse.”

“If a writer wants to play with AI as a writer and see if it helps them, I mean, I mean, I think of it as no different than having a thesaurus or dictionary on their desk… play with it,” he said in response or he thinks this is where the industry will end. “If it’s leading the way in the sense that a studio exec comes up to you and says, ‘AI has given us this story that we want.’ That’s not why I got into storytelling, and it’s not where I’ll stay if that’s what storytelling is.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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