Weekly Column: What Role will Artificial Intelligence play in Hollywood?

In his capacity as a Columnist for California Sports Lawyer®, Founder Jeremy Evans has written a column about the potential growth and impact of using artificial intelligence in Hollywood.

You can read the full column below.


There are three potential areas where artificial intelligence (“AI”) will have an impact in Hollywood. Technology, however, like taxes, have a tendency to grow in influence and area of application overtime. Therefore, what is discussed and anticipated today, might and will likely be completely different and expanded in the future with possibly unintended consequences.

First, there is the area of using AI to help predict what film and television series should be developed. Computer programs and data have been used and should be used to make business decisions. Hollywood studios have been using data and financial balance sheets for years to figure out what films meet the most quadrants of a successful film or series. However, the issue in Hollywood is that machine-learning does not consider the human-aspect of decision-making or whether a film or series should be made even if it may not be the most popular or profitable. There is also the union issue and the labor lobby for Hollywood is one of the most influential. There is a divide in Hollywood and it comes down to how much AI should be used. In many ways, the robust discussion in Hollywood mirrors the rest of the world and crosses industries.

Second, there is the area of using AI to help write film scripts and series. This will likely be the largest point of contention between studios and the Writers Guild of America (“WGA”) because it directs change at the writers themselves versus indirectly when making business decisions on whether to develop, produce, and distribute a film or series. AI would literally be taking jobs from writers and the current strike could not come at a worse time since studios might look to an easier and efficient fix of having AI help write content (e.g., hiring replacement writers, but the AI version). The dispute is exasperated by the fact that content is becoming more expensive to develop, produce, and distribute, while the appetite for content is never-ending in the streaming age.

Third, is the area of using AI for algorithms for determining the distribution of content and how content is viewed and advertised. This particular use of AI may seem like the least disputed as algorithms are often used on platforms with the collecting of data on users to help determine preferences. However, the data collected is subject to privacy law limitations (at least in California) and it begs the question of whether content should be catered or funneled (and to what extent) as it may limit exposure to new programming.

AI can be very helpful for decision-making and like analytics can be helpful for decision-making. However, there will need to be a bill of rights highlighting the importance of valuing humans above technology. It is something that has been lost on the path towards progress. We often neglect to reflect on the impact of technology on people both physically and mentally before it is beyond the path of no return. People still matter and should always matter even if we do everything we can to try to replace ourselves with something that performs better.   


About Jeremy M. Evans:

Jeremy M. Evans is the Chief Entrepreneur Officer, Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clients in contractual, intellectual property, and dealmaking matters. Evans is an award-winning attorney and industry leader based in Los Angeles and Newport Beach, California. He can be reached at Jeremy@CSLlegal.com. www.CSLlegal.com.   

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Jeremy M. Evans is the CEO, Founder & Managing Attorney of California Sports Lawyer® representing entertainment, media, and sports clients and is licensed to practice law in California.