Writers strike to keep AI from taking their jobs, creativity and livelihoods

New artificial intelligence is created to form full stories and scripts that will inevitably put writers out of their already low commission. Writers band together to protest against it.

Writers on strike hold clever signs against the use of AI. Wikimedia Commons

The future is a fearful place for writers across the world.

Stepping into this modern age, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has taken the spotlight. It is being used to do research, create art and write. AI is being developed to write articles, papers and even scripts.

New AI threatens to replace screenwriters. In doing so, the use of AI may involve the work of writing that already exists by humans. This causes an issue because the original writers won’t be aware and won’t be paid for their contribution.

Essentially, this new artificial intelligence may begin to put any person with a career in a creative field (writing, art, design, etc.) out of a job.

Writers have come together to protest against the use of AI at the gates of Hollywood studios and corporation buildings as well as the streets of Hollywood, Los Angeles. The protesting included marching, shouting and waving large signs with clever phrases.

The picketing began on May 2, 2023, concerning a dispute between the Writers Guild of America labor union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

May 1, 2023, was the final day of a six-week-long failed negotiation. Dissatisfied with the results, the strike was set to begin the very next day.

Not only are amateur writers worried about the threat of AI, but famous screenwriters — such as John August who wrote “Big Fish,” “Charlie’s Angels” and other famous films — are also expressing their concerns.

In addition, actors and actresses — such as Tina Fey, Seth Meyers, Pete Davidson and many others — that hear the protesting from within the studio walls give their support to the cause, either by providing food and water to the strikers or joining the strike themselves.

At the heart of this strike is the issue of underpayment.

The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers meet every three years to renegotiate their contract. This year, however, new factors came to play. One of these factors included the regulation of AI involvement in writing.

Since the inflation and AI advancement, screenwriters’ salary has been declining by about 14%, according to a story done by CNBC.

Other writers, such as famous authors, are forced to buy and invest more than they can sell. Most writers are receiving checks well below a minimum wage salary.

The studios and corporations are making a significantly greater amount of money than the writers who are putting in the work to create and build a foundation for a project that will inevitably earn the studios more money. In addition, they plan to credit AI — which is not actually creditable — for future work rather than give attention to original writers and creators.

An ending has yet to come to the strike. The last big writers’ strike lasted a bit over three months, stretching from 2007 to 2008.

Writers will continue to protest until another negotiation is held and their standards are met.