May 4, 2023·edited May 4, 2023

My understanding from reading about the strike was that the issue is not focused as much on the technology but the money. I don’t think there’s much disagreement over the limitations of LLMs here, but rather how the LLMs could be exploited to lower the studio’s cost base on the back of the writers by lowering how much they get paid for *effectively the same work* using what amounts to a loophole. Vox notes this:

“Second, the WGA says it’s imperative that “source material” can’t be something generated by an AI, either. This is especially important because studios frequently hire writers to adapt source material (like a novel, an article, or other IP) into new work to be produced as TV or films. However, the payment terms, particularly residual payouts, are different for an adaptation than for “literary material.” *It’s very easy to imagine a situation in which a studio uses AI to generate ideas or drafts, claims those ideas are “source material,” and hires a writer to polish it up for a lower rate.* “We believe that is not source material, any more than a Wikipedia article is source material,” says August. “That’s the crux of what we’re negotiating.”

(Source: https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/culture/23700519/writers-strike-ai-2023-wga)

I’m not making a moral judgement on this either way, only to say that I think “follow the money” applies here in understanding the motives of both sides.

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