Go off, Sean.
Cannes You Believe It
The Hollywood writers' strike, which has kicked up a heated debate surrounding the use of AI in the industry, is still going strong.
The stakes are high, with screenwriters fighting for assurances that they won't be replaced with generative AIs churning out uninspired scripts.
Studios, however, have yet to cave to the Writers Guild of America's AI-related demands. But now, as Variety reports, several high-profile actors are throwing their weight behind the writers.
"There are a lot of new concepts that are being tossed about, including the use of AI," Oscar-winning film star Sean Penn said during a press conference at the ongoing Cannes film festival. "And it just strikes me as human obscenity that there's been a pushback [from the studios] on that."
"The industry has been upending the writers, actors, and directors for a very, very long time," he added. "My full support is with the writers guild."
Holding the Line
Penn isn't the only industry star to speak out against the use of generative AI in filmmaking. Actress and "Cocaine Bear" director Elizabeth Banks expressed her own concerns about AI at Cannes this week, telling Deadline that "we have to hold the line as a community."
"I include the producers and the studios in that community," Banks said, adding that she was "heartbroken" that the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers — the body that represents the studios — failed to "agree that AI should not be used for creative purposes."
Meanwhile, WGA members, who have been on strike since May 12, are warning of a future filled with soulless, AI-generated ideas that fall far short of what the human imagination can come up with.
"We're out here fighting so that the Alexas and whatnot aren't writing our stories," TV writer Lanett Tachel recently told NPR. "We're not here to rewrite a machine."
When Tachel attempted to generate a script using ChatGPT, it turned out terribly.
"It didn't have nuance," she added. "It wouldn't understand how to handle race, certain jokes, things like that."
While it's perhaps a good thing AI-generated scripts still suck, we wouldn't put it past any Hollywood CEO to try to capitalize on the tech.
Either way, we're glad that folks like Penn and Banks are in solidarity with the writers. In fact, the Screen Actor's Guild may officially join the WGA on the picket lines soon as well.
More on AI and movies: Marvel Director Expects Fully AI-Generated Movies Within Two Years