NY Times: TV’s War With the Robots Is Already Here — A.I. screenwriting, a point of contention in the Writers Guild strike, may not yet be ready for prime time. But streaming algorithms and derivative programming have prepared the way for it. – by James Poniewozik (May 10, 2023)

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.

In my limited experiments with AI chat programs, I’ve mostly seen them to be useful for laying out in orderly prose, what might be described as “conventional wisdom.”

Or maybe as a folksier, more informal kind of wikipedia?

As for truly creative ventures – I see AI chat as having limited utility right now, so it is hard to imagine them being used to generate entire film scripts.

By jmb

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