And The Oscar Goes To … ChatGPT?

General views of the Writers Guild of America West on December 02, 2020, in Hollywood, California. Concerns in the industry have been the use of ChatGPT that could put writers out of work. AARONP/BENZINGA
General views of the Writers Guild of America West on December 02, 2020, in Hollywood, California. Concerns in the industry have been the use of ChatGPT that could put writers out of work. AARONP/BENZINGA

By Chris Katje

The use cases for artificial intelligence have risen in 2023 thanks to the increased interest and usage of chatbots such as ChatGPT. A new use case could be coming soon for ChatGPT, and it involves the entertainment industry.

In this photo illustration, an OPEN AI logo is displayed on a smartphone with a Chat GPT logo in the background. ChatGPT is in the process of approval from various entertainment industry executives. AVISHEK DAS/BENZINGA

Already an investor in ChatGPT, Microsoft Corp invested an additional $10 billion in parent company OpenAI. The move was done to help Microsoft integrate ChatGPT into its Bing search engine.

Along with Microsoft, many companies are looking for ways to utilize ChatGPT for new ideas, new systems and other ways to improve overall operations.

The television and movie industry is among those looking to utilize artificial intelligence for future development.

The Writers Guild of America is now proposing the use of artificial intelligence to write scripts, according to a report from Variety.

“The WGA’s proposal to regulate use of material produced using artificial intelligence or similar technologies ensures the Companies can’t use AI to undermine writers’ working standards including compensation, residuals, separated rights and credits,” in a statement said by the Writers Guild of America West on Twitter.

Under the terms of the proposal, a writer would be able to use ChatGPT to help write a script for a movie or television series.

The sticking point for the Writers Guild of America is making sure that the writers do not have to share writing credit or residuals with ChatGPT.

Writers are concerned their jobs could be replaced by studios utilizing artificial intelligence to write stories and cutting out the writers from work and royalties.

The Writers Guild of America proposal would not ban the use of artificial intelligence and could serve as a way for writers to secure jobs and work alongside the rise of AI.

One proposal would see that studios could create a script with artificial intelligence and then hand it off to a writer to rewrite and fix mistakes. Under this situation, the writer doing the rewrite would receive first writer credit over ChatGPT.

The new proposal from the Writers Guild of America does not address what would happen if a studio uses an AI tool to write a script and does not use a writer to make changes.

“The rise of artificial intelligence technologies, specifically ChatGPT, has made it clear to me that the future of our industry is in jeopardy,” said Ben Berman, a Hollywood director who commented for Yahoo News.

The Writers Guild of America has not received approval from studios on the proposal yet and the new discussions are part of contract discussions before the current contracts expire May 1 and the threat of a strike in the industry looms.

While some have argued ChatGPT will replace numerous jobs and could also lead to accelerated cheating in schools, others have compared the chatbot to a calculator, a tool that is used to help with the work.

Greg Peters, Co-CEO of Netflix, during a keynote about the future of entertainment on the second day of the Mobile World Congress 2023 on February 28, 2023, in Barcelona, Spain. The question remains on the reliability of AI and how it can help or hurt the writers. JOAN CROS/BENZINGA

The proposal by the Writers Guild of America will be closely monitored in the sector and could be a key in contract negotiations.

“As a guild, we writers have a terrible history of trying to fix the barn door after the horse is five farms away,” said Marc Guggenheim, co-creator of “Arrow”. “And while AI may not be a threat to writers today or even tomorrow, we should take contractual steps – more on that in a moment – to protect future writers for the day when AI is good enough to truly come for their jobs.”

Potential disruptions for writers in writing credits and residuals come at a time when there are multiple streaming giants competing for content and writers could benefit from increased spending on movies and shows.

Award shows have seen an increase in nominations and wins for streaming platforms. Netflix Inc was nominated for 15 Academy Awards in 2023 and took home six wins.

Netflix beat out streaming rival Walt Disney Co, which has the benefit of getting nominations from its original works on Disney+ and in theaters. Disney was nominated for 22 awards and won two.

Apple Inc became the first streaming network to win the Best Picture award at the Oscars with its 2022 win for “CODA.” Apple won one 2023 Oscar from its two nominations. Apple is rumored to be working on its own chatbot, which could increase the potential for its using artificial intelligence to create movies and shows. 

Like many other sectors, the entertainment industry could utilize ChatGPT and some companies could see it as a way to make job cuts or hire fewer people.

It’s not too farfetched to think in the future, ChatGPT could end up with writing credits and end up nominated for Academy Awards.

Produced in association with Benzinga

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