Protecting Writers from AI: WGA’s Strategy

October 02, 2023
2 min read
By George Djaniants
Film Business
Protecting Writers from AI WGA s Strategy

Just a year ago, artificial intelligence was merely a peripheral concern, but as of May 2023, it has emerged as a critical element in the discussions between the AMPTP and the WGA. Software like ChatGPT has illustrated the extensive capabilities of AI in ideation and quick content generation.

The initial intrigue surrounding AI's potentials soon gave way to concerns about a future where writers might be subordinated to correcting inferior AI-generated scripts or conforming to ideas conceived by algorithm-driven machines devoid of creative sensibility. It was against this backdrop that the WGA intervened, establishing strongholds to secure writers' futures from the encroachment of AI on creative domains.

Let’s delve into the strategic moves enacted by the WGA to set precedents in favor of human creativity.

The contract elucidated by WGA incorporates several pivotal provisions, namely, the prohibition of AI in script development or amendments and mandatory disclosure of AI involvement by studios to writers. Additionally, writers are shielded from involuntary utilization of their scripts for AI learning.

The provisions also explicitly state that AI cannot be used to author or revise literary content, and materials generated by AI won't be recognized as source material under the Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA), protecting writers’ credits and rights. While writers have the discretion to employ AI, subject to company approval and policy adherence, they cannot be mandated to use AI tools like ChatGPT in their writing services. It is also imperative for companies to reveal any AI-generation or incorporation in materials provided to writers.

The right of the WGA to contest the exploitation of writers’ content for AI training is also established, citing the MBA or other applicable laws.

The Impact on Writers

Through these resolutions, WGA has ensured the retention of human creativity at the core of content creation. Writers are protected from being assigned AI-generated content without proper acknowledgment, ensuring fair compensation and recognition for their contributions. This not only prevents the undermining of writers through subpar AI-produced content but also enables them to influence AI usage and collaboration strategies with companies.

It is anticipated that AMPTP companies may explore potential gaps in these provisions; hence, maintaining the ability to collaboratively utilize AI is crucial. The WGA remains vigilant, guarding against unforeseen developments and ensuring ethical and responsible AI utilization within the industry.

Enforcement and Future Developments

The responsibility of upholding these provisions lies equally with the WGA and studios. There's still exist unresolved matters concerning AI copyright and ideation that will shape the future utilization of AI systems in the industry. The WGA continues to advocate for writers’ rights and creativity, preserving the integral human element of storytelling in this digital era.

With contracts revisited every three years, continuous updates will be provided as these provisions are implemented, and the WGA remains a proactive defender of writers, ensuring that advancements in technology do not compromise the sanctity of human creativity and intellectual rights.

Published on October 02, 2023 by George Djaniants

George Djaniants

CEO & Co-Founder