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### Hollywood Stars’ Precautions Against AI On-Screen Usage

Movie studios must obtain permission from actors to use their images in material generated by artif…

As per the labor agreement that concluded a 118-day strike, movie studios are now required to seek actors’ consent before utilizing their images in content generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and compensate performers whenever their digital counterparts make an appearance on screen.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the primary negotiator for the SAG-AFTRA players union, revealed that these new safeguards were secured as part of a comprehensive deal announced late on Wednesday.

Under Crabtree-Ireland’s three-year agreement, performers have the right to approve and receive fair remuneration whenever a modern replica or simulation of them is utilized.

Furthermore, the proposed contract sets a baseline wage for AI applications, with the possibility of negotiating higher compensation for celebrities.

Following the vote by the national board of SAG-AFTRA on Friday, the coalition announced that full details of the fresh agreement would be disclosed before it is presented to union members for ratification.

Concerns have been raised among actors in movies and television regarding the existential threat posed by AI, fearing the potential replacement of their on-screen personas by digital avatars or “metahumans” fabricated by AI. History and voice actors, in particular, expressed apprehension that synthetic performers might encroach upon their craft.

Crabtree-Ireland also noted that the proposed deal includes limitations on the use of relational AI for generating artificial actors, emphasizing the importance of consent and compensation safeguards for such applications.

The elimination of age ranges using AI systems has sparked worries that studios could manipulate actors’ likenesses without their approval.

A significant sticking point for SAG-AFTRA, representing approximately 160,000 actors, stunt performers, voiceover artists, and other professionals, was the resolution of this issue, which was one of the final hurdles to clear.

Crabtree-Ireland expressed relief at the progress made in recent days, ensuring that members are now equipped with protective measures. He emphasized the adaptability of these safeguards to keep pace with technological advancements.

Major studios such as Walt Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), Netflix (NFLX), and others negotiated with The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to establish comprehensive consent and compensation protocols for AI usage.

Industry insiders in Hollywood stress the necessity of establishing fundamental guidelines for AI application before delving into novel uses.

Scott Mann, co-CEO and chairman of Flawless, a company specializing in AI-driven movie dubbing and editing, highlighted the cautious approach adopted by studios while recognizing the substantial benefits and innovative potential AI offers to the industry.

Following a five-month strike by the Writers Guild of America earlier this year, film and television artists also secured protections concerning AI utilization, including the obligation for productions to disclose any AI-generated content.

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Last modified: December 26, 2023
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