Since July 14th, Hollywood has experienced a significant shutdown as the Screen Actors Guild of America – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) joined forces with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) in their efforts for higher pay, increased streaming residuals, as well as assurances that AI won’t take over their jobs.
During a recent solidarity rally in London, the use of “scary” technology like AI and its potential to replace their work has become a major concern for several prominent actors including Succession star Brian Cox. “The wages are one thing, but the worst aspect is the whole idea of AI and what AI can do to us,” said the 77-year-old Scottish actor.
Despite the growing fears of AI not only displacing jobs but also raising concerns about the use of actors’ likenesses, Netflix seems steadfast in its commitment to investing in the technology.
Netflix’s AI job posting
The streaming conglomerate’s vacancy for a Product Manager specialising in Machine Learning Platform states that the preferred applicant will, “Collect feedback and understand user needs from ML/AI practitioners and application engineers across Netflix, deriving product requirements and sizing their importance to then prioritise areas of investment.”
Speaking to The Intercept, Writer, actor and comedian Rob Delaney, calls the job listing “ghoulish”.
“So $900k/yr per soldier in their godless AI army when that amount of earnings could qualify thirty-five actors and their families for SAG-AFTRA health insurance is just ghoulish. Having been poor and rich in this business, I can assure you there’s enough money to go around; it’s just about priorities,” said Delaney.
Netflix’s website features a research section that provides a description of its machine learning platform which states that the streaming platform is, “Using machine learning to help shape our catalog of movies and TV shows by learning characteristics that make content successful. We use it to optimise the production of original movies and TV shows in Netflix’s rapidly growing studio.”