Gen AI report highlights job loss concerns in entertainment

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Generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) will lead to the loss of more jobs in the film and animation industry than in other sectors, according to consultancy firm CVL Economics.

In a January 2024 report based on a survey of 300 leaders from six entertainment industries, including c-suite executives, senior executives and mid-level managers, between Nov. 17 and Dec. 22, 2023, the firm found that 75% of survey respondents indicated Gen AI tools, software and models had supported the elimination, reduction or consolidation of jobs in their business division.

Gen AI creates diverse content like images, text and music without explicit programming. It employs machine learning to understand and replicate patterns from existing data.

Three-quarters of entertainment leaders agree that Gen AI helped eliminate jobs in their industries. Source: CVL Economics

According to the report, 55% of leaders expect sound designers to be most affected in the next three years. Over 40% see music editors, audio technicians and sound engineers as vulnerable, with around 33% anticipating impacts on songwriters, composers and studio engineers.

In July 2023, shortly after ChatGPT’s launch, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild–American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) declared a strike over advancements in AI that might affect job roles and security.

Before the strike, numerous companies used content by writers to train Gen AI programs and create digital replicas and characters based on an actor’s likeness. Without robust safeguards, striking workers feared the potential replacement of their roles by Gen AI technology.

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Despite the recent favorable contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, concerns persist among WGA and SAG-AFTRA members about the uncertainty surrounding the impact of Gen AI on the film and television industry and other entertainment sectors.

The report states that 47% of the business leaders felt that Gen AI would effectively generate 3D assets and realistic sound design for film, television and video games over the next three years.

Another 44% believed Gen AI could generate realistic and convincing foreign language dubbing for film or television dialogue, and 39% believed Gen AI would be generating music mixes and masters by 2026, the report stated.

However, with companies like Riot Games, Unity Software, Amazon MGM Studios, Pixar and Universal Music Group having already announced layoffs within the first few weeks of 2024, CVL Economics said further job cuts are expected in the months ahead.

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