Generative AI Limited in The Writing Room, But Still Making the Big Screen

- Updated Dec 6, 2023
Illustration: © AI For All
Generative AI will transform the entertainment industry on-screen and behind the scenes, despite the precedent set by the WGA contract agreement that limits its range of abilities outside individual use. News media and sports broadcasts both fit under the umbrella of entertainment.
Let's take a look at how generative AI has demonstrated its value as a tool to writers, broadcasters, statisticians, on-air talent, and more.
End of the Strike
After five months of striking, the Writers Guild of America reached a long-awaited agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). 
Within the contract, writers win a significant pay increase from streaming services and effectively remove any possibility of generative AI tools copying their likeness by mimicking their writing form or becoming the sole source of content material. This decision, at first, seemed very harsh toward generative AI. 
But let’s consider the facts: generative AI is a tool for users, programmed by data. Generative AI is not a paid, educated and creative thinker like guild members are.
But even within the provisions of the agreement, generative AI will transform the entertainment industry as we know it with an increase in efficiencies on tightening budgets and the creation of novel marketing opportunities while prioritizing the well-being of the talent.
News Media Embraces AI
Today, many news outlets identify as entertainment, at least to some degree. Media outlets prosper off creative thought but are stressed by quick timelines and a hedonistic cycle of content to maintain high engagement. 
Generative AI offers an opportunity to alleviate these pain points so journalists can reallocate their time to better serve their newsroom.
According to the 2023 report from JournalismAI, an initiative from Polis, the London School of Economics and Political Science’s journalism think tank, 75 percent of journalists say they have used AI as part of their reporting process, whether it be gathering, production, or distribution. 
From searching for historical facts to checking for grammatical errors or sentence structure irregularities, generative AI can help with various points in the news writing process. Over half of those who used AI experienced an increase in efficiency and productivity as it helps automate repetitive tasks. 
Lastly, a third of respondents aim to deploy AI to help access wider audiences, personalize reader experience, and drive engagement. The same report is not void of a more critical lens of AI, especially as it applies to the news industry — 60 percent of journalists expressed concern about the ethical implications of AI use in the newsroom. Many journalists aim to uphold a high journalistic standard. 
These concerns were echoed and amplified by writers and actors, but, like journalists, they do not want to completely miss out on the efficiencies created by AI.
Generative AI’s ability to make searching and summarizing significantly easier is universally experienced across industries. The WGA does allow generative AI for individual use. 
An example of this might be uploading a 150-page movie script into Chat-GPT with the request to generate a one-page summary. A request of this caliber could still be achieved in mere minutes. Beyond just the writing process, generative AI also presents a novel opportunity for the power of AI to take on a visual appearance on-screen.
Virtual correspondent Riva Houston at Fox 26 Houston is an AI avatar. There is never a need for retakes and viewers can expect consistency in her information sharing when used with proper human oversight. 
Programming Riva to be TV-ready is quite simple: a reporter feeds her a script or an LLM generates it, and she reads it off. Riva’s beat each week is on the upcoming events in the local area.
It’s important that when a virtual correspondent, or AI human, is used on screen a disclaimer is visible. Being transparent with audiences about AI use is crucial to maintain trust and credibility.
Generative AI Transforms Sports Entertainment
Generative AI’s transformative nature is making headway, especially in sports entertainment, and its effects will be both visible to audiences and behind the scenes. 
Allied Market Research projects the AI segment of the sports industry will reach an expected value of $19.2 billion by 2030. The growth opportunity for AI in the industry is to build on existing use cases and innovate.
Today, AI in the sports industry is being used to analyze player performance, prevent injuries, and improve refereeing, to name a few. For those who worry about job replacements, these instances do not infringe on the jobs of sports statisticians, athletic trainers, and referees but rather enhance them. 
While in these cases AI is working in the background, AI’s abilities are also seen on screen. Generative AI enables the ability for a popular player or sports commentator to duplicate their voice to be used in another language, broadening accessibility to the game and appealing to a diverse viewership. 
This technology would allow Lebron James to commentate for all United States Men’s basketball team games in the 2024 Olympics, even if he is out playing in them.
Many celebrities and athletes are receiving positive press and engagement from their AI models, such as Tottenham Hotspur player, Son Heung-min, with his AI digital twin “AI Sonny.” Son’s AI-generated digital twin was sponsored by insurance company AIA Group to be deployed in his home country of South Korea to educate and inspire mental, physical, and environmental wellness.
Hyper-personalized and interactive fan experiences are the key to successful advertising and marketing campaigns. Athletes have busy schedules and can only fit so much in — with AI, athletes might feel like their multi-tasking has improved because AI allows their digital twin to be in multiple places at once.
Projections of IP, Digital Likeness & Creativity
Undeniably, writers deserve to be paid fairly, and their intellectual property and digital likeness protected. Generative AI is a tool to enhance jobs, not replace writers. 
Under the agreement with WGA, studios cannot require their writers to use generative AI to write scripts. Any use is up to the individual. It is also not advantageous for studios to mandate generative AI scripts as it can cause a headache of copyright issues. 
Both studios and writers are connected in their efforts to protect their intellectual property. When human writers are involved in the creation of every script that also involves AI-generated ideas, copyright concerns for studios are alleviated. 
Beyond script generation, entertainment professionals are also exploring the possibilities for AI human avatars.
Actors, estates, and studios are speaking with developers of AI human avatars to learn how they can build, use, and license an AI human avatar in the future while retaining control. But not everyone is on board. 
Relatives of deceased actors are reasonably apprehensive about this technology, as questions around consent are a gray area. Deepfakes, AI-generated fake videos meant to cause harm or spread disinformation, only amplify this discomfort.
Someday, you may see Hollywood greats like Marlon Brando return to the silver screen. But not for a while. At present, no company exists that can create full-body, free-moving, hyper-realistic AI avatars at scale.
Media Orients the Future
AI offers unprecedented capabilities in the workplace that we are only beginning to discover. The creative, and oftentimes unconventional, entertainment industry will especially advent unique generative AI opportunities. 
At present, the lack of legal and ethical standards asks individual companies, industries, and institutions to set their boundaries on the use of AI. The WGA’s agreement with AMPTP will last for three years and then will be up again for renegotiation. 
With how quickly generative AI advanced in only the first few months of mainstream use, we can expect entertainment industry professionals will have new ideas on how to use AI in their jobs, thus altering the conditions of the agreement by May 2026.
This article was written by Eric Jang, CEO and Founder of DeepBrain AI.
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DeepBrain AI is an innovator of AI-generated virtual humans to accelerate business growth. Their state-of-the-art technology allows users to create their own hyper-realistic digital twin or choose from DeepBrain AI’s large portfolio of avatars. Incorporating AI technology into a range of industries like finance, retail, human resources, education, and media has never been easier – create in minutes with DeepBrain AI’s practical AI solutions.
DeepBrain AI is an innovator of AI-generated virtual humans to accelerate business growth. Their state-of-the-art technology allows users to create their own hyper-realistic digital twin or choose from DeepBrain AI’s large portfolio of avatars. Incorporating AI technology into a range of industries like finance, retail, human resources, education, and media has never been easier – create in minutes with DeepBrain AI’s practical AI solutions.