Hollywood strikes agree to ban AI from writing movie scripts

Hollywood WGA writers striking to oppose AI
Credit: WGA

Hollywood WGA writers striking to oppose AI
Credit: WGA

The movie-delaying combined Hollywood strikes of the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA have reached a tentative deal to end. Alongside deals for fair compensation, the end of the strikes have barred artificial intelligence from writing movie scripts.

Following months of strikes, the WGA revealed that it has reached an “exceptional” deal that offers “meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership." After years of poor pay and the upcoming advent of AI writing, the WGA has fought to protect scriptwriters against the greed of studios.

In the now-published WGA contract, numerous protections against AI have been cleared. While the contract doesn’t outright bar the use of AI tools like ChatGPT from being used alongside human writers, the generative tool cannot be forced upon a creator.

“A writer can choose to use AI when performing writing services, if the company consents and provided that the writer follows applicable company policies,” the contract reads. “But the company can’t require the writer to use AI software (e.g., ChatGPT) when performing writing services.”

Furthermore, the contract declares that “AI can’t write or rewrite literary material”. This means that AI cannot gain a writer’s credit, and AI-generated content cannot be deemed “source material”.

For writers rewriting previously submitted scripts or performing touch-ups, it must be declared whether or not artificial intelligence was used in a previous draft. When being handed existing written material, studios must tell human writers if AI was used in any part of the process.

Finally, the Writer’s Guild of America has demanded that all WGA writers can’t have their work used to train artificial intelligence.

While not the outright ban of Hollywood artificial intelligence that many were hoping for, the WGA’s deal does protect against the vast majority of AI use in Hollywood. With the end of the strikes, the threat of poorly-written AI generated spew is less likely to creep its way into film and TV for the foreseeable future.

With the official end of the Hollywood strikes, writers will soon be able to return to work. While many are still campaigning alongside SAG-AFTRA as the actors’ deal is still yet to be decided, work on writing new film and TV content is expected to start up again soon.

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