The contract that the writers are striking for could set a powerful precedent that AI must work for people, rather than being used to marginalize people to juice profits.

by Hamilton Nolan, The Guardian

There is nothing particularly novel about thinking to yourself, “You know, my job used to be pretty decent. Now, I’m working harder and the money is getting scarcer. What happened?” You might think this, in 2023, as a college professor or a cab driver or a journalist or a factory worker. This is America – our entire economy is built on making millions of jobs worse, in order to make a few people very rich.

What would be remarkable is if – when you realized that your once-good job was being made worse in order to satisfy the profit hunger of some faraway investment banker – you were able to actually do something about it. That, in our nation, would be news. That would be something for everyone to cheer for. The plain old workers standing up against enormous companies to stop the process that is turning their careers into execrable “gigs”. Is it a fairy tale? No, my friends. Welcome to the Great Writers Strike of 2023.

Members of WGA walk with pickets on strike outside the Culver Studio, Tuesday May 2, 2023 in Culver City, California.

You may have noticed, if you turned on your TV last night, that the late night shows have suddenly stopped. That’s because, on Tuesday, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) went on strike. The people who write all the TV shows and movies ain’t writing. So the new TV shows and movies ain’t gonna get made. Not until a fair contract with the AMPTP, a coalition of major studios, is reached. After weeks of intense negotiation, the two sides aren’t close. How far apart are they? The WGA’s total asks would come to $429m a year; the studios’ current offer stands at $86m a year. Lol.

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