Studios Advertise $US1 Million AI Jobs While Hollywood Writers Remain on Strike

Studios Advertise $US1 Million AI Jobs While Hollywood Writers Remain on Strike

Job listings geared towards artificial intelligence roles have gone up for film and television studios despite the continued protests from their writers and actors against the use of AI. Disney, Netflix, and Sony were among the entertainment companies that listed AI-centric roles, offering between $US200,000 and more than $US1 million for the right candidate.

Netflix’s position for an engineering manager who would work with the consumer ML model computing and serving foundations requires a minimum of only three years of experience, the rate for the position ranges from $US180,000 to $US900,000, depending on the applicant’s background. The advertisement says the person will “take Netflix’s ML/AI initiatives to the next level.”

Other Netflix positions include an AI technical director which offers a pay range of $US240,000 to $US1 million and an engineering director position citing a scale of $US330,000 to a whopping $US1.8 million annually. Netflix declined to provide a comment on the job listings.

Meanwhile, Sony AI listed numerous positions pertaining to “AI ethics” including a research scientist, an AI ethics technical program manager, and a research scientist focused on human-computer interaction.

Sony AI did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment, but a spokesperson said in a statement to NBC News: “This is not a job with the entertainment company. Sony AI, which was established 3 years ago, is run out of our corporate headquarters in Japan. The AI Ethics Office operates within Sony AI.”

NBCUniversal listed a job on LinkedIn for a vice president of product, personalization, and search for its Peacock streaming service, a fancy title for building machine-learning products, as cited in the role description, which is offering $220,000 to $290,000 per year.

All of this comes as Hollywood writers are not only striking for higher pay but have also been on the picket line for more than three months to fight against AI taking their jobs.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) proposed a new package offering higher compensation on Tuesday but the Writers Guild of America, which represents Hollywood writers, shut down the proposal only hours after the AMPTP released it to the public. The offer included a 5% increase in the wage rates in the first year of the contract, with a 4% increase in the second year and a 3.5% increase in the third year which was slightly lower than the WGA’s initial proposal of 6% in the first year and 5% in the second and third years.

The proposal also included a ban on generative AI being considered “literary material,” adding, “A writer will not be disadvantaged if any part of the script is based on GAI-produced material so that the writer’s compensation, credit and separated rights will not be affected by the use of GAI-produced material.”

Carol Lombardini, the president of AMPTP, said in a statement:

Our priority is to end the strike so that valued members of the creative community can return to what they do best and to end the hardships that so many people and businesses that service the industry are experiencing. We have come to the table with an offer that meets the priority concerns the writers have expressed. We are deeply committed to ending the strike and are hopeful that the WGA will work toward the same resolution.

The WGA pushed back against the proposal, saying in a press release: “This wasn’t a meeting to make a deal. This was a meeting to get us to cave, which is why, not 20 minutes after we left the meeting, the AMPTP released its summary of their proposals.” The statement continued: “This was the companies’ plan from the beginning – not to bargain, but to jam us. It is their only strategy – to bet that we will turn on each other.”

NBCUniversal did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.

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