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IATSE Agreement Clears the Way to Use Artificial Intelligence as a Tool

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Gene Maddaus Senior Media Writer Artificial intelligence can be used as a tool, with relatively few limitations, under the agreement struck last week between the major studios and the union representing film crews.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees released further details of its contract over the weekend. The deal provides that workers may ask their employers for a “consultation” about AI use, that a committee will be set up to offer AI skills training, and that AI use cannot be outsourced to non-union labor.

Making the “tool” analogy explicit, the deal provides that if the worker uses their own AI system, they can charge a “kit rental fee” — the same as they would for sound recording equipment or some other employee-owned gear.

But the terms do not provide for severance pay for workers who lose their jobs due to AI. The contract does offer a relatively narrow protection in that regard, providing that no employee will be forced to input prompts that displace other union workers.

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