The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has been on strike because of disagreements over how Hollywood’s movie studios are allowed to use actors’ likenesses. After four months, a tentative labor contract was reached to end the strike, but some terms about the use of AI technology in the contract caused concern for many striking actors. The contract provisions, especially regarding the use of generative AI technology, caused hesitation for SAG-AFTRA members. The use of digital replicas in the contract and how studios would have to obtain consent and compensate actors for their likeness were addressed, but there were loopholes and unclear terms that worried actors. The new contract would allow studios to create digital replicas and synthetic performers using AI, as long as they described their intended use and obtained initial consent from the actors. However, the studio would not need permission to use them if the performance remains substantially as scripted, recorded, or performed. This worry about how studios could unilaterally change actors’ performances in post-production was a major concern for the actors. While the strike ended, the specifics of how the provisions in it will be enforced are still unclear.
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