Artificial Intelligence poses threats to the future of the film industry

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"Students in the radio, television, and film major here at Rowan University feel uncertain about their futures, especially with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence into Hollywood, right after Deepfakes, ChatGPT, and other programs gained traction throughout 2023." - Graphic / Yaz Shaughnessy

Graduation is a time of new beginnings, just as much as the end of a student’s collegiate career. Receiving a professional degree and throwing your cap into the air are only the first steps in the rest of your life, from where your success is now up to you. But students in the Radio, Television, and Film (RTF) major here at Rowan University feel uncertain about their futures, especially with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence into Hollywood, right after Deepfakes, ChatGPT, and other programs that have gained traction throughout 2023. 

The idea of AI entering the movie industry, specifically Hollywood had never been a true concept until last year when AI was being considered by some to replace people in the field. Not only was this apparent for background actors who would have their faces recycled in future projects without the promise of residuals, but also for writers who were faced with being replaced entirely with programs like ChatGPT. 

Thus began the Sag Aftra strike, which lasted for 118 days until the Union worked with Hollywood to solidify a contract that would prevent AI from being used in projects going forward. At this point in the story, things should be resolved. After the strikes ended, the talk of AI in Hollywood slowly died down, becoming less and less prevalent as the months went on. Except, Comic Book Resources is reporting that Netflix allegedly used AI to construct images of Jennifer Pan for their new crime documentary. At the same time, A24 is also coming under fire for potentially using AI to create posters for their new film “Civil War.” 

With many individuals on social media criticizing the lack of change in Hollywood, where does that leave graduating RTF students?

When asked whether or not AI will be removed from taking artistic positions, graduating student Alessia Valenta said, “I hope so cause AI is not art. It’s useful for some things, but I’d rather it not take over artistic positions cause it steals stuff from things that are already made without permission and uses that. So I do hope we abandon it.”

However, after being asked if Hollywood would honor the Union contract, another senior, Anthony Burgio said, “I really do think Hollywood would still sneakily have their way with AIs, and make the Industry way more artificial. The reason why I fear that is because they tried sabotaging the strikes themselves. I wrote a report about how they would cut the branches off trees so that protestors wouldn’t have shade so that they would come back to their jobs.” 

Plenty of other students, whether seniors or incoming freshmen share the same anxious sentiment about AI. The thought of being replaced by AI has made plenty of students feel uneasy, whether they choose to be vocal about it or not. RTF clubs such as Cinema Workshop have actively chosen to ban the use of AI, due to seeing it as offensive. With graduation only a few weeks away, it will be up to RTF seniors on how the future of the industry will be shaped. Whether AI be accepted, or abandoned entirely.

For comments/questions about this story DM us on Instagram @thewhitatrowan or email thewhit.featureseditor@gmail.com

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2023-06-29/what-to-know-sag-aftra-strike-actors-hollywood

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