Netflix has angered Hollywood actors and writers after posting a series of advertisements for artificial intelligence (AI) expert jobs, in a shocking move that seems to have proven the campaigning artists’ worst fears.
Boasting a salary of $900k a year, the AI jobs advertised by Netflix have stoked further anger in Hollywood unions that have been fighting for better pay – and for clearer distnctions on how AI is going to encroach on the human-side of the industry.
High-profile actors have been speaking out against Netflix’s recent blunder.
Writer and actor Rob Delaney told The Intercept: “$900k a year 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.”
The advertised position, which appeared earlier this week, called for an AI expert to join the streaming giant’s Machine Learning Platform team. It’s understood this is the team tasked with creating “the algorithm” that recommends users the next thing they should watch.
Sag-Aftra, the union representing actors, have been fiercly spaking out against the power of the algorithm.
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“Algorithms dictate how many episodes a season needs to be before you reach a plateau of new subscribers and how many seasons a series needs to be on,” Fran Drescher, American actress and third national president of Sag-Aftra, told Time magazine.
Drescher claims the use of an algorithm “reduces the amount of seasons to three or four”.
“We’re being systematically squeezed out of our livelihood by a business model that was foisted upon us, that has created a myriad of problems for everyone up and down the ladder,” she added.
Josep Bori, GlobalData thematic research director, previously told Verdict that the media industry “is going to be significantly impacted by generative AI”.
“The large population of supporting and background actors as well as extras could be entirely replaced by software,” Bori said.
Adding: “Further, in the long run, it is not unthinkable that movie studies would cultivate the image of fully AI generated actors, doing away with the need to pay image rights to those famous human actors.”