OffG’s Quick Take: AI & the Writer’s Strike

Yesterday evening the US union the Writers’ Guild of America went on strike. The most immediate impact of this is that all the late-night “comedy” talk shows – Colbert, Fallon, Kimmel, Meyers – have gone on hiatus.

I know, I was heartbroken too.

How this may impact the already flagging entertainment industry – one which never really recovered from Covid lockdowns – is hard to predict…but also not really interesting.

Honestly, for years now the movies/television industry has had no apparent interest in actually making profits and is almost certainly propped up via government subsidies and ESG funding from companies like Blackrock.

After all, they can’t afford to let their trillion-dollar propaganda apparatus collapse into disrepair.

Maybe we’re on the verge of the great media reset.

But more interesting than that is the role artificial intelligence is playing in this narrative.

Objection to the idea of AI-generated works was reportedly one of the major – if not the major – stumbling blocks in contract negotiations before the strike.

And now, within hours of the strike being declared, we’re being inundated with headlines about AI replacing living writers. The Guardian, Global News, Hollywood Reporter, the BBC…it goes on and on.

Why? What’s the agenda here?

Do they want to replace people with Artificial Intelligence?

Do they want to scare people by making them think they could be replaced?

Do they want to convince people AI is much more advanced than it seems?

It’s impossible to know as yet, but it feels like a new narrative is being launched. Especially with the “godfather of AI” quitting Google earlier this week over concerns about the “risks AI poses to humanity”.

Watch this space. And, in the meantime, at least James Corden isn’t going to be on TV for a while.


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Categories: latest, Quick Takes