Actors Go On Strike Over Hollywood's Attempt To Own AI Replicas Forever

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Hollywood actors have gone on strike in the face of being replaced by AI-generated digital likenesses of themselves, ultimately replacing them altogether in the future. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers defends its proposal for wanting actors to hand over their faces for a one-time payment as being "a groundbreaking AI proposal that protects actors' digital likeness for SAG-AFTRA members."

Hollywood is no stranger to using digitally created actors in movies. Some movie stars have returned from the dead via digital recreations, while others have been digitally inserted through motion-capture animation, such as Rosa Salazar's character Alita in the movie Alita: Battle Angel (see top image). But it seems actors fear that Hollywood producers are now wanting to replace them altogether with digital likenesses of themselves, ending their careers with it.

"They propose that our background performers should be able to be scanned, get paid for one day's pay, and their company should own that scan of their image, their likeness and should be able to use it for the rest of eternity in any project they want with no consent and no compensation," remarked Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator.

realallusion software example
An example of Realallusion software being used to mimic human facial movement.

This echoes some of the same concerns of writers who have been on strike, who are demanding AI bots be banned from writing or rewriting material.

The SAG-AFTRA strike began on Thursday of this week, joining the ongoing strike by the Writers Guild of America. The result is Hollywood essentially screeching to a halt on all film and television production. The standoff is the largest in more than 60 years. Both unions are also seeking an improved payment structure, as the industry shifts toward streaming, causing a negative impact on actor's and writer's residual income.

As the world awaits the outcome of the strike, time will only tell what impact it actually has on the industry as a whole. The longer it goes on, the more delays there will be for movie releases and made-for-TV episodes. But more importantly, the outcome of the strike will set the tone for how Hollywood producers approach the use of AI in the near future, especially since AI could come for the producer's and director's jobs next.
Tags:  Movies, CGI, AI, actor