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The Black Mirror plot about AI that worries actors

    Hollywood actors are striking for the first time in 43 years, bringing the American movie and television business to a halt, partly over fears about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI).

    The Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) actors’ union failed to reach an agreement in the US for better protections against AI for its members – and warned that “artificial intelligence poses an existential threat to creative professions” as it prepared to dig in over the issue.

    Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the chief negotiator for the SAG-AFTRA union, criticised producers for their proposals over AI so far.

    He said studios had asked for the ability to scan the faces of background artists for the payment of one day’s work, and then be able to own and use their likeness “for the rest of eternity, in any project they want, with no consent and no compensation”.

    If that sounds like the plot of an episode of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, that’s because it is.

    US media has been quick to point out that the recent series six episode “Joan Is Awful” sees Hollywood star Salma Hayek grapple with the discovery that her AI likeness can by used by a production company without her knowledge.

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