Netflix slammed for posting AI job listing amid Hollywood strike

Netflix has come under fire for its latest job post that asks for a Machine Learning product manager and pays up to $900,000 (£703,000). It comes amid artificial intelligence being a main point of contention among the current Hollywood strikes.

The Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) are currently striking against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. One of the main points that the unions and producers can’t agree on is compensation and protections related to AI.

Netflix has been accused of being “tone deaf” as they recently posted the role of Machine Learning product manager. The position has a salary range from $300,000 to $900,000 and asks for the employee to “define the strategic vision for Machine Learning platform (MLP), objectives, key results, and success metrics”.

The role is also tasked with ensuring “product success” and “user education.” Required skills and qualifications for the role include “extensive experience” with AI and “a high degree of technical understanding”.

Actor Rob Delaney was appalled by the job post, claiming: “So $900k/yr per soldier in their godless AI army when that amount of earnings could qualify thirty-five actors and their families for SAG-AFTRA health insurance is just ghoulish.”

Many actors on strike have spoken out about not being able to afford healthcare while being in the union due to a cut in compensation due to the rise in streaming services. One such actor is Mara Wilson, known for her role in Matilda. She said she “never made enough” money to qualify for the union’s health insurance.

Elizabeth Benjamin, a Hollywood writer who’s credits include 13 Reasons Why and Bones, took to social media to write: “Cue vomit. This turns my stomach. Stay strong comrades. The future of humanity hinges on our ability to preserve humanity. #AI Netflix lists two massive-salary jobs in face of actors’ AI concerns.”

One of the rights that the Writers Guild is striking for is that they need to give their consent for AI to be used for writing or rewriting in Hollywood. They’re also asking for a meeting twice a year to discuss how AI is impacting the industry. Another concession is that studios can only use AI in the creative process after speaking to union representatives. The last two concessions were given to the Directors Guild of America when they asked for it, so the writers want the same.

The Writers Guild of America has been on strike since May, while SAG-AFTRA joined them last month. It’s the first time the two unions are striking together in over 60 years.

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