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I Asked ChatGPT to Predict How the Writer’s Strike Will End

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWindsor chapter.

It’s been four months since the Writers Guild of America (WGA) voted “unanimously” to call a strike effective May 2, 2023. One of the most important things writers want is protection against artificial intelligence supplanting real-life film and television writers. For example, since the public release of ChatGPT on November 22, 2022, generating scripts has become more accessible, easier, and faster. So, I decided to ask ChatGPT, artificial intelligence itself, how it thinks the writer’s strike will end. Are you curious to know ChatGPT’s answer? Keep reading! 

What you need to know about the strike:

The WGA negotiates contracts for writers with production companies and ensures fair wages and benefits for its members. They also protect their creative and economic rights. On the other side, we have the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP); a group that represents over 350 production companies in the USA, including Warner Bros. Entertainment, Universal Studios, Paramount, Netflix, Walt Disney Studios, Amazon, Sony, and many others. 

Every three years, the WGA negotiates with the AMPTP over the terms of the Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA). The collective bargaining agreement that covers most of the work done by WGA writers. The current contract expired on May 1, 2023. But, after a few negotiations, necessary demands (like protection against artificial intelligence) from the writers were not included in the new agreement/contract, so all members nationwide stopped working immediately.

Why is there so much discussion about AI?

Studios want to use artificial intelligence for many reasons, but all involve saving money. If AI can create an initial draft, the studio can hire and underpay a writer to “rewrite” whatever the software wrote into something more “human.” They could also pay a film student minimum wage to punch up and smooth out the script. But, whatever the solution is, they are just wasting time rewriting something that I think could have been done better from the start.

First, I asked ChatGPT, “What do you think about the 2023 writer’s strike?.” It replied, “I don’t have personal opinions or feelings.” So, instead, I rephrased the question and said, “Tell me how the 2023 writer’s strike will end hypothetically.” The chatbot replied, “After several weeks of intense negotiations, representatives from the WGA and AMPTP are brought to the bargaining table. Both sides have been feeling the pressure from the strike’s impact on the entertainment industry.” 

“The WGA agrees to a more flexible compensation structure for streaming services, recognizing the evolving landscape of the industry. The AMPTP agrees to improve the working conditions for writers, including fair compensation for overtime and better healthcare benefits.” 

“Recognizing the need for a neutral third party to facilitate discussions, a team of skilled mediators, including experienced labor negotiators and legal experts, is brought in to help bridge the gap between the two sides.” 

“After many weeks of negotiations, both parties finally will reach a tentative agreement that addresses the main concerns of the writers while also taking into account the financial realities of the entertainment industry. The tentative agreement is presented to the members of the WGA for a vote. A majority of writers vote in favor of accepting the agreement, officially ending the strike.” 

“With the strike officially over, production of movies, TV shows, and other forms of entertainment gradually resumes. The industry begins to recover from the disruptions caused by the strike.” 

“Both writers and the studios commit to fostering better long-term relationships and open lines of communication to prevent similar disputes in the future.” 

“Please remember that this is a fictional scenario, and the actual resolution of any real-world strike would depend on the specific circumstances, negotiations, and factors involved at the time.” 

Okay! But what about regulating the use of artificial intelligence in the industry, ChatGPT?

In ChatGPT’s hypothetical scenario, the chatbot excludes itself and artificial intelligence from the issue but makes some interesting points about human problem-solving skills.

Every fact ChatGPT mentions is related to human needs being the reason for the disagreement, and while that is true, still asking for better healthcare shouldn’t be categorized as a “complaint,”  which is the label society and the situation have created for these writers and their basic necessities. 

The chatbot also mentions the need for a third party to solve the strike, and I can’t help but think of that as an “insult” to the two organizations (WGA & AMPTP) that have led the entertainment industry in Hollywood and influenced the rest of the world for years. It feels like artificial intelligence is questioning the internal structure and sees potential in creating a third party to build a new Hollywood. Who knows, maybe that is the solution to overcome ongoing problems in the industry, like more diverse and inclusive hiring practices and lack of representation. 

So, while the role of artificial intelligence in the entertainment industry needs to be addressed, perhaps ChatGPT is telling us that other more humanitarian conflicts deserve to be resolved. First between us, to then learn how to approach technology as an instrument and not a weapon. 

Montse Pineda

UWindsor '25

Montse is an international student from Mexico. She is a film production student at UWindsor. She enjoys watching movies, getting to know female directors, and talk about the film industry in general. In her free time, she enjoys creating and sharing her art with others.