Major entertainment companies like Disney, Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Sony are on hiring sprees for artificial intelligence specialist jobs as the labor disputes with Hollywood writers and actors continue.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes, which began due to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) refusing to agree on a variety of demands, including limiting the use of AI in media, still have no end in sight as these major entertainment corporations refuse to come to the bargaining table.
With the effective shutdown of most studios due to the disappearance of writers and actors, Hollywood studios are now looking for AI specialists and are willing to pay top dollar for them. (Related: Creatives push back against generative AI's theft of their work and call on Big Tech to fairly compensate them.)
According to a job listing review conducted by The Hollywood Reporter, Disney, which recently faced criticism for laying off thousands of employees, has approximately six open positions for specialists in AI and machine learning. Some of the positions will join Disney's "Imagineering" team and will be responsible for crafting attractions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Based on the job listing, the hired candidate should envision pushing the boundaries of AI tools and recognize the difference between data and artistic voice. The potential employee would collaborate with external studios, universities, organizations and developers to integrate the latest AI technology. Additionally, the annual base salary for this position can go up to $180,000 plus bonuses.
Netflix, another industry giant, is also investing heavily in AI for content creation, personalization, payment processing and other revenue-focused initiatives. The streaming company posted a position for an AI product manager with a potential annual salary of up to $900,000.
Amazon and Apple are following suit, offering numerous AI and machine learning jobs tailored to their media businesses. Amazon's Prime Video senior project manager role, for example, focuses on the advancement of content localization, accessibility and enhancement using state-of-the-art Generative AI and Computer Vision technologies, paying up to $300,000 per year.
Sony, too, is searching for an AI "ethics" engineer with a commitment to researching and developing AI techniques that complement human creativity and benefit society. Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount and NBC Universal have also opened AI and ML-related job posts in their companies.
While the entertainment industry is experiencing a larger job pullback, positions related to AI stand out as an exception due to the increasing importance of technology-driven solutions in media and entertainment.
In a passionate speech on July 25, acclaimed actor Bryan Cranston, known for his famous role in the hit TV series "Breaking Bad," addressed hundreds gathered in Times Square, sending a strong message to Disney CEO Bob Iger. Cranston's speech echoed the concerns shared by many actors.
"We’ve got a message for Mr. Iger: I know, sir, that you look at things through a different lens," he said. "We don't expect you to understand who we are. But we ask you to hear us, and beyond that to listen to us when we tell you we will not be having our jobs taken away and given to robots."
Similarly, Justine Bateman, a writer, director and former actress, expressed her concerns about the potential consequences of unrestricted AI usage. She likened the situation to renovating a house, where AI serves as the front door – giving access to various technological advancements. Workers fear that without proper restrictions on AI, their creative efforts and gains may be compromised.
Furthermore, actors fear that studios may exploit their talents and voices, using AI to reuse them without proper compensation or acknowledgment. On the other hand, writers worry about large language models like ChatGPT being employed to write or rewrite scripts.
The AMPTP argues for a balanced approach to AI use rather than an outright prohibition. However, the uncertainty surrounding the future of AI in Hollywood remains a contentious issue.
More related news about the erasure of humans from the budding robot economy can be found at Robots.news.
Watch the video below to find out how AI technology threatens to take over thousands of jobs.
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