George R.R. Martin warns lawmakers about the dangers of AI in film and media
In the ongoing strikes by actors and writers in film and television, artificial intelligence is one of the most contentious issues. New Mexico’s robust production industry is feeling the strikes’ effects and Monday a legislative committee heard dire warnings of the threat posed by AI.
Writer and Santa Fe resident George R.R. Martin, whose books inspired the mega-series “Game of Thrones,” told lawmakers on the Science, Technology & Telecommunications Committee the rapid rise of AI has made writers and actors nervous about their jobs.
He said the technology has the potential to write, animate and produce entire films by itself, but he added other professions should also be worried.
“You have to wonder what jobs are gonna be left, because AI is not gonna stop with actors and writers,” he said.
Actor Mel MacKaron explained that actors' faces can be copied and used over and over again by AI, without paying the actors for the content being made.
A handout to lawmakers outlined how AI can do the same with written work by re-writing a script and the human author never getting credit – or pay.
MacKaron says the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG AFTRA) are not completely against AI, but actors and writers want consent and compensation for their work. And he notes that New Mexico has a reputation for helping the creative arts.
“What we do here in New Mexico, will spread,” he said.
The Albuquerque Journal reports Democratic Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth is working with colleagues on AI-related legislation ahead of the 2024 session, possibly focused on transparency issues.