AI Scripts are Hollywood’s big bet during 2023 writers’ strike

James Bond on an image of AI scripts tool ChatGPT

James Bond on an image of AI scripts tool ChatGPT

The Writers Guild of America’s 2023 strike for fairer pay in the age of streaming will have a major impact on the quality of future films and TV shows. Instead of simply agreeing to pay writers better, Hollywood is investing in AI scripts to keep its content slate churning.

In the wake of the ongoing WGA strike, multiple studios are looking into writing movie and TV scripts with services such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Film studios and streaming giants are already looking at an AI solution until the WGA strike ends. The current plan is to generate AI scripts based on public domain works to avoid any legal liabilities of breaching copyrighted content.

According to AboveTheLine, studios are planning on keeping these AI scripts until the Writers’ Strike ends. Afterwards, these scripts will be handed to real, human writers to be rewritten before being shoved into production. 

However, the use of artificial intelligence generated content is a huge point of contention for the Writers Guild of America. The Union group is extremely insistent that AI tools must not be used to generate any scripts in the film industry. This is not just to protect writers’ jobs, but also the quality of screenwriting in general.

There’s also the case that AI scripts can never be more than plagiarism. Due to the nature of AI generation, computer-written scripts are based on a large collection of previously created scripts. Even scripts that are successfully generated have glaring issues as AI tools do not understand what they have written at any given time.

The fight against AI replacing human jobs has only just started. While Hollywood figures like Avengers Endgame’s Joe Russo believe the industry should embrace AI, there are many that believe there should be a blanket ban on the technology.

In fact, Google researcher Geoffrey Hinton, the creator of modern AI, has not only quit AI development, but is actively warning against the dangers of his own technology.

There is no doubt that AI generated shows and films will be nothing more than poorly written schlock. Not only will current AI not be able to write a brilliant original movie like Everything, Everywhere, All At Once or Parasite, but they can’t even generate a brilliant adaptation of existing works like Dune.

Hollywood’s insistence on shirking writers had massive consequences to the production of shows during the past 2007 Writer’s Strike. Projects such as 007: Quantum of Solace and Heroes suffered greatly. However, it was at the fault of studios for rushing projects and not paying their writers fairly.

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