The writers’ strike in Hollywood continues. In May, the Writers Guild of America started protesting low wages and the potential threat of artificially generated scripts. Large Language Models (LLMs) have only improved in generating text, raising concerns among writers.
However, according to an insightful article from Auguste Meyrat of the Acton Institute, Hollywood has been developing a culture that welcomes AI-generated content with its tendency to pressure writers to fit a formulaic narrative structure instead of encouraging them to pursue real creativity and collaboration. Meyrat writes,
All this virtually guarantees the use of AI-generated screenplays. After all, if producing a movie is now effectively the same as producing a widget on an assembly line, the human element can be dispensed with. And if something weird or demonic comes out of it, some minimum-wage intern can do quality control. So long as someone famous is in it and there’s already a built-in fanbase, success is assured—until it isn’t.
Writers have every reason to oppose this, and audiences who care about quality should oppose it, too. Producers need to understand that good writing is fundamental to a project’s success and popularity. Although it may seem counterintuitive for the WGA to strike at the current moment, perhaps they are sensing the frustration among audiences along with a newfound willingness of producers to come to the table and rethink their business strategy.-Auguste Meyrat, What the Writers Strike Means for Entertainment Today – Religion & Liberty Online (acton.org)
When TV production becomes this mechanical and impersonal, why shouldn’t studios opt for AI? So the logic might proceed.
However, Meyrat hopes the strike will show how genuinely hungry audiences are for good storytelling.
For further reading: