Creatives Concerned About Future of AI
We are almost certain that AI will have some sort of affect on manual, repetitive jobs, however, more recently creatives such as artists and actors are becoming more and more concerned with their futures up against the AI revolution.
It seems almost reasonable to assume that AI and automation will eventually transform and displace many jobs in sectors such as manufacturing and accountancy. Whilst work associated with creativity and human emotion seemed safe, many are beginning to fear for the future.
In a survey launched by Equity, the UK union for actors and other performing arts workings, it was found that 65% of union members were concerned about how AI would affect their industry. Audio artists were more concerned with 93% of them worried about how AI would replace them. Whilst the fear seems unprecedented, it is not without reason.
Many members of the unions have discussed their disdain for job postings that require an actors voice for the purpose of AI software. Many AI start-ups are developing tools and systems to be used in marketing, assistants and audiobook narration. With the rise of podcasts and audiobooks over the last few years, audio is more important than ever. Human voices can often be expensive whereas AI generated content is much cheaper. With one voice actor being paid a one-off fee, their voice can repurposed and changed to a companies desire.
Whilst AI voices are not the same quality as an authentic human voice, they do not necessarily need to be. Experts have said that the next bestselling novel will not be narrated by a synthetic voice because people simply will not purchase it.
Creative rights also have become a topic of concern. Since the rise of social media, we all are aware that nothing is truly deleted. Everything can exist forever, even after the promise of permanent deletion. In regards to this, creatives are concerned about who may have access to their voice/likeness in the future. If you are a respected family-friendly actor, what happens when your likeness is used for something associated with violence or other adult themes? Will this cause an affect on your employability in the future or with the rise of AI, should this be an expectation?
Equity has called upon the UK government to update copyright law to ensure performers have the rights to control reproductions of AI-created performances. The union is currently working with tech companies to make agreements that state the performers will be granted royalties whenever their likeness is used.
The concern of AI displacing people out of jobs is a concern that will unlikely go away anytime soon . The broad consensus is that AI is no where near to being as good as humans. Will we ever reach that point? Time will tell.