Netflix Posts Six Figure AI Job Listing Amidst SAG-AFTRA Strike

In the midst of a labour strike by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) over concerns about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the film industry, Netflix has come under fire for posting a job listing for an AI product manager with a potential salary of £697,000. The strike, which began on July 14th, has effectively shut down Hollywood as actors and writers demand increased pay, higher streaming residuals, and protections against the use of AI to replace their work.

The SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) have united in this historic strike, marking the first joint action since the 1960s. Both unions are fighting for better job security, compensation, and protections against the growing influence of AI in the industry. The fear of AI replacing human actors and writers has become a growing concern among industry professionals.

Brian Cox, star of the hit show “Succession,” expressed his concerns about AI during a solidarity rally in London. He called AI “scary” and that the issue goes beyond wages, relaying the potential threats posed by advancements in technology.

Netflix’s Controversial Job Listing

Amidst the ongoing strike, Netflix has listed a job opening for an AI-related position, specifically a Product Manager for their Machine Learning Platform (MLP), with a potential salary range of £233,000 to £697,000. The role of the product manager is to enhance Netflix’s machine learning capabilities and prioritize areas of investment based on user feedback and needs.

The listing has drawn criticism from industry professionals, with comedian Rob Delaney referring to it as “ghoulish.” Delaney pointed out that the amount of money allocated to one AI worker could provide health insurance for thirty-five actors and their families, highlighting the priorities of the industry.

The WGA’s strike proposal includes regulations to prevent AI from replacing writers or making use of their work without sufficient and fair compensation. SAG-AFTRA is also advocating for safeguards against the unauthorised use of actors’ intellectual and creative property through AI technology, which can recreate their images through CGI and deep fake tech.

The Battle for Fair Pay and Creative Intergrity

The actors and writers on strike are not only fighting for fair compensation but also for the protection of their craft and creative integrity. Many TV and movie actors have shared their personal stories of appalling pay to shed light on the need for change and demonstrate the importance of the strike.

Actors and writers are fighting for fair compensation and protections against AI as the industry’s investment in AI technology continues to grow. The salaries offered for AI-related positions far exceed the average earnings of actors and writers, further pointing out the failures in distributing wealth within the industry.

Despite the concerns raised surrounding Netflix’s job listing, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) has responded with proposals that have brought up fears of AI undermining and underpaying Hollywood creatives. The AMPTP’s proposal allows studios to scan and retain an actor’s likeness in exchange for minimal compensation, granting them perpetual usage rights. Hopefully, this will ensure better conditions for actors and creatives as a whole going forward.