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Why Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Believes Hollywood Needs AI

Photo by Cameron Venti on Unsplash

Why Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Believes Hollywood Needs AI

By Movieguide® Contributor

Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Tony Vinciquerra hopes writers and actors will learn to embrace AI technology rather than limit its use and hold back the industry.

“[Writers] are very afraid that we’re all going to put them all out of business. That is so far from the truth,” Vinciquerra told investors. “AI is an unbelievable tool for the writers. Every writer we talk to says, ‘We’re using AI to speed up our process and make it better.’”

“You can’t copyright a product that is generated by a computer. You can only copyright a product made by a person. So, we’re not going to take a script written by a computer and make it into a TV show or a film,” he explained.

He continued, addressing actors’ concerns, “You can’t take someone’s image or likeness without their permission. And everyone in the AMPTP and the production business is fully aware of that and will adhere to that. So, I think on AI, we’ll find a way to come to a common ground, hopefully soon.”

AI stands as one of the landmark issues dividing the writers’ and actors’ unions from the AMPTP. Both unions are demanding that studios not use the technology for fear of job loss. The studios, meanwhile, have forged ahead with AI, taking heat over the summer for offering high-paying positions for AI roles.

Vinciquerra believes that the writers’ and actors’ fear of AI is a vast overreaction, something he hopes they realize soon so the two sides can work together on how the technology should be implemented in entertainment.

“You can’t get in the way of technology,” he said. “People who get in the way of technology don’t last long in the business. You look at the buggy-whip business, radio manufacturers. When radio started in the ‘20s and ‘30s, there were thousands of companies making radios. There aren’t many people making radios anymore.”

“[AI makes production] more efficient. It makes it faster,” Vinciquerra also noted, arguing that this makes its use in entertainment inevitable. “Speed is one of the biggest problems in productions,” and AI “will speed that up.”

Movieguide® previously reported on the ongoing strikes:

The WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes continue to affect the entertainment industry as negotiations remain in a stalemate…

“In its statement earlier in the day, the WGA said that the AMPTP has refused to budge from its Aug. 11 offer. The AMPTP said that the guild has not yet responded on several issues, and said the guild has ‘remained entrenched’ in its demand for mandatory minimum staffing on TV shows,” Variety wrote.

The demands of the WGA include better protections against income loss due to the surge of AI, higher residual pay from streaming services and an increased allowance of writers per TV show.

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