The Writer’s Strike and Tech

people rallying carrying on strike signage

You may have heard about the Writers’ Guild of America strike that is halting TV and film production and sent a lot of shows into repeats. Two of the biggest sticking points in the negotiations involve tech.

The first is streaming residuals. The residuals that writers and actors receive from programs and movies playing on streaming services are far less than they received when that programming aired on TV stations or played in theaters.

Streaming services argue that the increased availability of programming and the ability of consumers to play things over and over again on demand, make up for the lower residuals.

Another point of contention is the use of artificial intelligence for writing scripts.

The Writers Guild Wants the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to ban the use of AI for creating source material and for rewriting source material.

The producers say they’ll be willing revisit the discussion annually as technology develops.

Just for fun, I asked an AI writing program to come up with an idea for a family-friendly sitcom. Here’s what it said:

“How about a family-friendly sitcom set in a suburban neighborhood where a newlywed couple moves in next door to a quirky, but lovable family? The show could follow the ups and downs of both families as they navigate their way through everyday life and the occasional neighborhood drama. The newlyweds could be the straight-laced, responsible couple, while the neighboring family provides the comedic relief with their off-the-wall antics and unorthodox approach to parenting. Together, they could learn valuable lessons about love, family, and what it means to be a good neighbor.”

Okay, it sounds like someone may have already been using the program. Whatever the decision, it could have lasting ramifications on the way things are made.

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