In my editorial piece for NATPE Miami 2020 titled Reinventing the Business: Enter AI, I tried to draw the attention to the forthcoming adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the media and entertainment business. Three years later, at MIPTV 2023, about half of the content in our magazine deals with AI and its impact on our industry.
Back then, I wrote that AI would bring “a revolution for the whole industry and should help media and entertainment execs around the world to embrace such innovations easier,” and concluded: “AI already controls our entertainment, soon it will control our business as well.” Today, the industry seems to agree and we offer you stories that prove this in our new issue.
Naturally, many questions regarding the use and the extent of applying these technologies remain open, especially when it comes to producing content. For example, what would be considered “original” in the future when AI will be widely used to create storylines for series and to pitch ideas for new entertainment shows. Some could argue that an idea that was born thru work and interaction with AI cannot be copyrighted. So, the industry would have to agree on some strict rules for these new strict machines which can deliver countless amounts of content without asking for copyrights and royalties.
We will see the first regulations shape up in the U.S. The WGA is now trying to find the best solutions to protect the rights and pay of its members in a new agreement with the studios amid changes happening in the entertainment environment. One of the biggest topics during the negotiations will be how AI should be used in the process of script writing. Also, who and how will control how much of the writing is the work of the “author” and his artificial “assistant”?
It’s obvious that an agreement on these issues will be hard to reach and AI could create chaos and division in the industry for years, with some companies remaining fully “people-centric” and others relying more and more on AI.
The near future could bring us content proudly displaying the sign “This production was fully realized without the use of Artificial Intelligence”. But I doubt that we will be seeing it on the mainstream entertainment platforms.