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TV's War With the Robots Is Already Here

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Striking Writers Guild members picketing.

One of the issues at the heart of the Writers Guild strike involves the use of artificial intelligence in Hollywood.

Credit: Frederic J. Brown/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Television loves a good sentient-machine story, from "Battlestar Galactica" to "Westworld" to "Mrs. Davis." With the Writers Guild of America strike, that premise has broken the fourth wall. The robots are here, and the humans are racing to defend against them, or to ally with them.

Among the many issues in the strike is the union's aim to "regulate use of material produced using artificial intelligence or similar technologies," at a time when the ability of chatbots to auto-generate all manner of writing is growing exponentially.

In essence, writers are asking the studios for guardrails against being replaced by A.I., having their work used to train A.I. or being hired to punch up A.I.-generated scripts at a fraction of their former pay rates.

From The New York Times
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