WASHINGTON DC – Lawmakers are torn over whether actors and writers should worry about artificial intelligence taking their jobs, with one Republican lawmaker saying “spoiled” Hollywood professionals should return to work in their “overpaid” jobs.
“Hollywood is a bunch of spoiled brats getting worse, and they should get back to work,” said Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett, a Republican. “They are overpaid and underemployed.
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But Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes, a Democrat, that Hollywood actors and writers should be concerned about the development of AI.
“If I’m an actor and someone can create a digital representation of me and my voice and put me in a movie and I can’t say anything about that and I can’t get any compensation from that, I’d be worried. ,” the Connecticut Democrat said.
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The ongoing protest by Hollywood actors and screenwriters against studios, streaming services and production companies represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) marks the first time in more than 60 years that the two unions. The strikes focus on renewing contracts with increased pay rates and guaranteed protections from artificial intelligence developments that take away their jobs.
“AI cannot replace humans,” said Rep. Jamaal Bowman. “In some industries it will, but when we talk about the creative arts, there will be a disconnect between the soul and the essence of what humans create and what AI creates.”
“They are the ones who build wealth in Hollywood,” said the New York Democrat. “Pay them what they earned.”
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AI has become a major focus of the strikes, as recent developments have made the technology easy to write scripts and replicate an actor’s image and likeness without their consent. As it continues to advance, AI can reduce or eliminate 300 million jobs worldwideaccording to a March report from Goldman Sachs.
“The writer’s strike shows the critical importance of protecting against artists, writers and other creators [AI]in fact, taking their product for nothing, which AI is enabling so much more to do,” said Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat.
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But South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace, a Republican, said the film industry should be brainstorming how to use AI to its advantage.
“It’s going to be the future,” he said. “I also understand that people don’t want to lose their jobs, so they should look at technology and use it to make all their jobs better.”
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Up to 30% of hours worked across the US economy could be automated by 2030, creating the possibility of approximately 12 million occupational transitions in the coming years, according to a McKinsey Global Institute study published in July. Low-wage workers are up to 14 times more likely to have to change jobs than those in the highest-paid positions, and women are 1.5 times more likely to lose their jobs than men with continuous development of AI.
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AI is “a serious threat to many workforce industries,” said California Rep. Robert Garcia, a Democrat, on Fox News. “That’s what we’re trying to figure out, are ways that we can regulate AI in a way that’s fair, that doesn’t stifle innovation, but certainly doesn’t eliminate essential jobs.”
To watch the full interview with the lawmakers, click here.
Fox News’ Yael Halon contributed to this report.