- Netflix posted an AI job listing with a potential salary of $900,000, while actors and writers strike for better pay and AI regulations.
- The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and Writers Guild of America (WGA) are jointly striking over concerns about AI in the film industry.
- The job listing and the AMPTP’s responses to the strikes have raised fears that studios prioritize AI over human actors and writers.
Netflix posts a job opening for an AI-related position, offering a potential salary of $900,000 at the same time that actors and writers are striking for better pay and AI regulations. The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and Writers Guild of America (WGA) are jointly striking for the first time since the ’60s. The strikes have shut down the majority of Hollywood as actors and writers withhold labor. They will continue until the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) negotiates new contracts with the unions and addresses their concerns.
As reported by The Intercept, Netflix recently posted an AI job listing with a salary of up to $900,000. The listing is for a Machine Learning/AI Product Manager whose role will be to “increase the leverage” of Netflix’s machine-learning platform (MLP). Responsibilities include creating objectives and goals for the MLP, as well as helping to educate others on the usage of MLP. Meanwhile, it lists the typical salary for such a role at Netflix as $300,000 to $900,000. This listing was posted as the WGA and SAG-AFTRA continue to express major concerns about the usage of AI in the film industry.
Netflix’s Job Listing Adds To SAG-AFTRA & WGA AI Fears
While the WGA and SAG-AFTRA are striking for many reasons, AI has been a major topic of discussion since both strikes began. The WGA began its strike back in May in hopes of better job security, compensation, residuals, and protections against AI. In its proposals, it asked for studios to create regulations that avoid AI replacing writers or writers’ work being used to train AI. However, the AMPTP rejected the proposal outright, offering only to hold meetings to discuss technological advancements.
Meanwhile, SAG-AFTRA is concerned about AI using actors’ likenesses without compensation or permission, as technological advances have made it possible for a likeness to be recreated wholly through CGI and deepfake. In response to SAG-AFTRA’s concerns, the AMPTP offered a solution that has drawn comparisons to the Black Mirror episode “Joan is Awful”; it would allow studios to scan and retain the likeness of an actor in exchange for one day of pay and to use that likeness for any future project without compensation or consent.
The AMPTP’s responses have led to fears that studios want to use AI to replace or at least undermine and underpay Hollywood creatives. Meanwhile, Netflix’s job posting adds greater weight to the fear. While many equate Hollywood with wealth, the average salaries and entry-level salaries for actors and writers are fairly low, ranging from about $40,000 to $60,000. Studios have claimed that calls for better compensation are simply unrealistic. Yet, these studios are willing to pay almost a million yearly to one AI worker. Netflix‘s job posting seems to suggest a prioritization of AI over human actors and writers.
Source: The Intercept