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Monday, May 20, 2024

IATSE Publishes ‘Core Principles’ for AI in Entertainment – Deadline


so artificial intelligence “Threats to fundamentally alter employers’ business models and disrupt IATS The alliance on Wednesday unveiled “core principles” for the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in the entertainment industry.

It follows the union’s establishment of an AI committee in May.

“and artificial intelligence“, IATSE members are at high risk in all craft areas,” said IATSE Chairman Matthew Loeb. “There is still a lot of work to be done, but I am pleased to report that the union’s efforts are well underway.”

AI is a key negotiating issue for both the Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA, and for the IATSE when it begins negotiating new film and TV contracts next year. The WGA has been on strike for 65 days and SAG-AFTRA members voted overwhelmingly to authorize the strike if a fair agreement cannot be reached by July 12.

The following are the core principles of IATSE’s use of artificial intelligence:

1. Comprehensive approach: The implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies in the arts, entertainment and media industries could fundamentally change employers’ business models and disrupt the livelihoods of IATSE members. The stakes involved are high, so the IATSE’s approach as a union must be holistic, focusing on research, collaboration, education, political and legislative advocacy, organizing and collective bargaining.

2. Research: The IATSE will be at the forefront of understanding how artificial intelligence and machine learning will impact members and the wider entertainment industry. This includes better understanding how members and employers are using AI and ML tools today, the capabilities and limitations of existing AI and ML tools, and anticipating the capabilities and limitations of AI and ML tools that will be developed in the future. The IATSE will work to establish clear definitions to classify various types of so-called “artificial intelligence” to advance enforceable legislation and collective bargaining oversight. The IATSE will also urgently identify which craft and local unions are most likely to be affected in the near future. The IATSE Artificial Intelligence Committee will conduct a comprehensive study of AI technologies, with a particular focus on how they are reshaping the entertainment industry work landscape under IATSE jurisdiction. It will also consider how contractual terms, legislation and training programs can be adjusted to ensure that all stakeholders gain a fair share of productivity gains from AI.

3. Collaboration with partners and stakeholders: The IATSE Artificial Intelligence Committee will bring together members and representatives at all levels of IATSE, as well as external experts, to guide the coalition on the challenges and opportunities presented by this new technology. Union leadership and this committee will liaise with allied groups and organizations including, but not limited to, the AFL-CIO Institute of Technology, Human Arts Movement, Copyright League, and Professional Employees (AFL-CIO). Given the distributed nature of this technology and the realities of dealing with multinational corporations, IATSE will continue to work with allies outside the US and Canada, including organizations such as UNI MEI and BECTU.

4. Education level: IATSE members will continue to be the best in the world at what we do. We’ve adapted to new technologies and even developed many of the tools and techniques that have driven entertainment forward over the past 130 years. We will embrace new technologies and tackle this problem head-on. We assert that our members are entitled to adequate training and upskilling opportunities to deal with any changes brought about by artificial intelligence in the work environment. We will continue to strive to provide our members with the skills to navigate technological advances and build a culture of continuing education, through IATSE’s own education and training division and the IATSE Training Trust.

5. Organization: The IATSE recognizes that the implementation of artificial intelligence and machine learning is a catalyst for organizations. Our union works to organize entertainment workers into new, related job categories.

6. Upholding Worker Rights, Member Job Security, and Union Jurisdiction: Workers using AI should have the same rights and protections as workers who have not historically used AI. New technologies must never be an excuse to erode conditions we have worked so hard to achieve for decades, nor should they be a way to circumvent alliances entirely. The implementation of artificial intelligence and machine learning should not result in job losses, but rather serve as a tool that complements the work being done by our members. We are committed to continuing to advocate for job security for our members in the face of AI integration.

7. Political and legislative advocacy: The union will continue to represent the interests of behind-the-scenes entertainment workers in policymaking, with a focus on maintaining strong copyright and intellectual property laws. As a member of the Human Art Movement, IATSE supports the core principles that AI applications support human creativity and achievement. In general, we will advocate the following policies:

• Ensure that entertainment workers are fairly compensated for their work being used by AI systems to train, develop or generate new productions

• Prioritize those involved in the creative process and protect intellectual property owners from theft

• Increase transparency in the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning systems

• Protect against legal loopholes that individuals, companies and organizations in the United States, Canada and other countries may exploit

8. Collective bargaining: The impact of artificial intelligence on working conditions and roles falls within the scope of the subject of mandatory collective bargaining. We commit to negotiating terms that include AI in future contracts. Even in the absence of relevant government legislation, the IATSE requires employers to be transparent about their use of AI. We are committed to protecting the privacy of our members and ensuring that AI applications adhere to the highest ethical standards, including non-discrimination and fairness. We also recognize that collective bargaining is the primary way to ensure workers don’t have to wait for government to pass legislation to regulate, which could take years, or may never come.


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