Writers are striking to stop AI screenplays

CNN’s Samantha Kelly tells “Nightcap’s” Jon Sarlin why the Writer’s Guild of America wants protections against AI as it strikes for a new contract. Plus, Semafor’s Ben Smith talks about the demise of digital media darlings and Gawker’s sordid history with sex tapes in his new book, “Traffic.” And Going.com’s Katy Nastro predicts this summer won’t bring a repeat of the winter holiday travel meltdowns. To get the day’s business headlines sent directly to your inbox, sign up for the Nightcap newsletter. #CNN #News

00:00 – Welcome to "Nightcap"
00:39 – TV & film writers fight to save their jobs from AI
05:40 – The demise of digital news darlings
10:39 – Bracing for a summer travel nightmare


    1. Exactly. Three new Star Trek films that are mostly repeats of each other. New Star Wars films that are just repeats of the first Star Wars film. It seems they’ve already dropped writers.

  1. I remember/ was working in Hollywood during the 2007 100 day writers strike…

  2. AI only means death of mainstream and the rise of independents. Have you see the channel Omeleto? They have pretty good writing on their movie shorts. In addition, there’s no longer movie stars like it was in the past.

    1. Nah. People have had access to Independent movies for decades. There’s even movies on YouTube, that no one watches, because they get lost in a sea of content. You have to have movie stars or big advertising muscle to get attention to your project, otherwise they’re just a drop in the ocean. And with AI, it’s going to get even worse. People will be so inundated with content, they will tune it out, and seek safe curators like Netflix/Studios etc, just to make the decisions on what to watch for them.

    1. Yeah, not sure why they’re not including the fact that they’re fighting for decent pay and actual jobs as well.

  3. Please see Adam Conover’s interview with Emily Bender and Timnit Gebru since they covered a lot of important key topics how the marketed “AI” ( which is NOT actual AI ) works for more context and information on the matter.

  4. But even if the strikes are successful in the US, it will still be possible to use A.I. to write scripts in other countries. Am I wrong?

  5. When people comment on the quality of recent writing, I think they need to keep in mind that the business side tends to decide what actually gets made based on business assumptions. That will only increase if AI writing and production lowers costs and effort enough to fine tune output according to feedback. Expect Disney-esque appeals to the biggest audience and the lowest common denominator to just snowball.

    1. That’s irrelevant in this day and age. Good writters can easily ditch the out of touch businesses.

  6. When you think about it, we do tend to see recycled versions of themes the writers tend to get into the theatres of employment.
    Automation should take over our stupid planet because right now the planet is ran by debate evading delusional sociopaths with bad coding to their firmware.

  7. First “sex tape” of a “celebrity” I remember hearing about (and only heard about) was way back in the 80’s. It wasn’t easy to access in those days. The “celebrity” was Jayne Kennedy.

    1. Not true. Reality shows have writers too, and parts of the provisions under dispute in the 2007 Writers Guild Strike were with regards to how reality TV and animation writers were handled and credited.

    2. Reality shows started wayyyy before the 2007-2008 strike. The modern incarnation of the Reality show goes all the way back to MTV’s The Real World which premiered in 1992.

  8. I want to see an AI created horror film. After seeing the terrifying art AI can create, I think it would probably be darker than anything human can come up with.

  9. Call me cynical, but when you consider that the two TV series I’m currently watching and enjoying is the 1966 _Mission: Impossible,_ and the _Mystery Science Theater 3000_ run that ended in 1999, hopefully, an AI ban will mean shows I’d _actually_ want to watch!

  10. LOL this wouldn’t be the best time to be striking as for a long time now Hollywood has failed in so many ways that AI just may help it and give us better movies. With them being on strike now makes for the perfect time to test out to see exactly what can be done with AI.

  11. Obviously an “endorsed” reason for the strike. AI is money. It’s the next Windows. Even Windows is trying to get in on the next Windows. AI is hype. Don’t get caught fighting over hypothetical Nintendo GameCubes that replace workers in a dystopian future where we’re so desperate to live out a Wachowski film circa Y2K because TV told us to. AI may replace a lot of workers, but think of all the mechanics and programmers we’ll need. All that aside, writers shouldn’t stop writing because AI makes scripts that pass as tolerable at best. Anyone using AI to write anything meaningful from a creative perspective will always ultimately be sorely disappointed. AI just hashes up rules and history (aka the past) to produce a result (move arm, color screen, etc). It is impossible for AI to 1. Forward think, and 2. Think. Come to THINK of it, the ordinal value of the items on that list is irrelevant.

  12. I recommend the writers learn how to use these new tools to create more dense and refined content than the AI tools could create on their own and begin learning to create content for dynamic entertainment which will become much palatable and wide spread with the new efficiencies created by AI automation.

    Now is not the time for them to be striking. Now is the time for them to be leading their employers to out compete their competition by create more valuable harder to create content using AIs.

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