Sony Pictures Chief Says He Hopes Guilds Find ‘Common Ground’ on AI: ‘You Can’t Get in the Way of Technology’

Sony Pictures chief Tony Vinciquerra calls AI a “very complicated subject” but sounds optimistic that the creative minds in Hollywood will embrace and appreciate artificial intelligence, dispelling any concerns they may have.

“You can’t take someone’s image or likeness without their permission,” Vinciquerra said at an investor conference in New York hosted by BofA Securities via Deadline. “And everyone in the AMPTP and the production business is fully aware of that and will adhere to that. So, I think on AI, we’ll find a way to come to a common ground, hopefully soon.”

Significant strides in AI technologies, such as ChatGPT, coincided with contract deadlines between the WGA and SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP. Both guilds have underscored their primary focus during negotiations: restricting the use of AI.

The unions worry that studios might employ AI to eliminate the involvement of writers and actors, potentially diminishing employment prospects. Additionally, they seek to safeguard intellectual property rights, ensuring fair compensation for human creators, and safeguard the collection of voice and likeness data.

Vinciquerra addressed the misconception that AI is going to put writers out of business.

“That is so far from the truth,” Vinciquerra said. “AI is an unbelievable tool for the writers. Every writer we talk to says, ‘We’re using AI to speed up our process and make it better.’ You can’t copyright a product that is generated by a computer. You can only copyright product made by a person. So, we’re not going to take a script written by a computer and make it into a TV show or a film.”

Vinciquerra also noted that there are multiple factors contributing to the resistance toward AI.

“You can’t get in the way of technology. People who get in the way of technology don’t last long in business,” Vinciquerra added. “You look at the buggy-whip business, radio manufacturers. When radio started in the ’20s and ’30s, there were thousands of companies making radios. There aren’t many people making radios anymore.”

Vinciquerra added that AI makes production “more efficient. It makes it faster. Speed is one of the biggest problems in production.”

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