Hollywood’s AI proposal likened to ‘Black Mirror’ episode: “Not too far off from reality”

"Black Mirror covers exactly THIS"

Hollywood studios have proposed to use artificial intelligence to scan the faces of extras and use their likeness in perpetuity — and people are comparing the situation to a recent episode of Black Mirror.

On Thursday, the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) officially declared its intention to go on strike, with one of the many areas of concern for the union being the use of AI within the industry.

During a press conference, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said that the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) had made a so-called “groundbreaking” proposal that, with the use of AI, would allow the likenesses of film and television background performers to be used indefinitely.


“They propose that our background performers should be able to be scanned, get paid for one day’s pay, and their company should own that scan of their image, their likeness and should be able to use it for the rest of eternity in any project they want with no consent and no compensation,” he said (via Reuters). “So if you think that’s a groundbreaking proposal, I suggest you think again.”

Many have since noted that the proposal is eerily reminiscent of the season six Black Mirror episode ‘Joan Is Awful’, in which actors and members of the public have their likeness used in AI-generated TV shows.


“This scene in Black Mirror‘s ‘Joan is Awful’ about how entertainment companies could control a person’s likeness and use it as they desire, including data from cellphones, is frightening — and according to the SAG-AFTRA negotiations, not too far off from reality,” tweeted one person.

Another wrote: “If the studios legit thought that using AI to recreate the actors’ likeness in this way was a good idea, then throw all of Hollywood away. Didn’t we JUST see this on Black Mirror?”

The use of AI has also been a point of contention during the ongoing writer’s strike, in which the Writers Guild of America has demanded the AMPTP ban AI from being used to write and rewrite material.

Many also voiced their concerns over Marvel’s new series Secret Invasion, due to it featuring an AI-generated opening credit sequence, instead of the work of human animators.

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