‘Black Mirror’ episode already smelled Hollywood’s AI conflict

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The opening episode of Black Mirror’s new season, titled “Joan Is Awful,” has once again showcased the show’s ability to predict and reflect real-world issues. In this episode, a tech company uses deepfake technology to turn a woman’s life into a soap opera. This storyline bears a striking resemblance to the ongoing issues surrounding Hollywood actors and writers’ rights.

During the ongoing actors strike, Fran Drescher, the president of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), addressed a proposal put forth by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). This proposal includes a dystopian AI aspect that has raised concerns among industry professionals.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s chief negotiator, revealed a particularly alarming detail from the proposal. According to the proposal, background actors would be scanned and compensated for a single day’s pay. However, the studio would gain complete ownership and perpetual usage rights over their digital likenesses, without their consent or any further compensation.

As Fran Drescher voiced her grievances regarding this proposal, the eerie similarities between the real-life implications and the Black Mirror episode became all the more apparent. The episode’s depiction of a world where technology is exploited to manipulate people’s lives and profit from their likeness resonates with the concerns raised by industry professionals.

As a result of this timely and thought-provoking episode, Black Mirror has seen a surge in popularity on streaming platforms. Viewers have become more aware of the disturbing connection between the show’s fictional scenarios and the alarming reality that is unfolding in the industry.

Once again, Black Mirror’s ability to tackle and explore the darker side of technology and its impact on society has struck a chord with audiences, highlighting the show’s relevance and its ability to provoke discussions about the ethical and social implications of technological advancements.

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