WGA: Screenwriters union approves the use of AI, but with one condition

The screenwriters’ union in Hollywood has shown itself open to the use of artificial intelligence, but on one specific condition.

WGA: Screenwriters union approves the use of AI, but with one condition

The Writers Guild of America proposed allowing AI to write screenplays, as long as it doesn’t affect authors’ credits or rights.

Earlier, the Hollywood screenwriters union indicated it would propose regulating the use of artificial intelligence in the writing process, which has recently emerged as a concern for authors fearing finding themselves without a job.

However, contrary to expectations, the corporation has not proposed an outright ban on the use of AI technology. Instead, the proposal would allow a writer to use ChatGPT as an aid to writing a screenplay without having to share writing credits or split the rights. Alternatively, a studio executive could give the writer an AI-generated script to rewrite or refine, and the writer would still be considered the first writer on the project.

Sunspring is the first film written by an artificial intelligence

In effect, the proposal would treat AI as a tool — like Final Draft or a pencil — rather than a writer. The intent appears to be to allow writers to benefit from the technology without getting drawn into credit debates with software vendors.

The term “literary material” is a core term of the WGA’s Basic Minimum Agreement: This is what a “writer” produces (including stories, treatments, screenplays, dialogue, sketches, etc.) if an AI program is unable to produce “literary material”, then he cannot be considered a “writer” in a project.

Il “starting materialrefers to things like novels, plays, and magazine articles, upon which a screenplay may be based. If a screenplay is based on pre-existing material, it is not considered an “original screenplay.” The writer may also only get credit of “script by”, rather than that of “written by”.

The WGA will continue bargaining for the next two weeks before reporting the outcome or decision of any strike to members. The current contract expires on May 1st.

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