Has David Zaslav used ChatGPT? I ask because the Warner Bros. Discovery boss, who everyone knows is out to save a few bucks, has come up a few times in my recent conversations with Hollywood dealmakers. They don’t think Zaz would hire a bot to replace salaried writers just yet, but as for a punch-up job, well, all bets are off.
After all, the prospect of A.I. taking human jobs has escalated rapidly from “Ha, ha, let me just get comfortable in my Matrix coffin” to “OK, so how much time do I have?” Suddenly, everyone I know is nervously assessing its capabilities. Can Stable Diffusion replace animators? What about the dozens of A.I. startups that can replicate the voices of famous actors? Can ChatGPT write a court brief? How about a legal newsletter?
We’ve already seen these technologies revive Val Kilmer’s voice in Top Gun: Maverick, simulate Bruce Willis in a Russian telecom advertisement, and write and direct short films, so it’s no surprise this has all caught the attention of the Hollywood guilds, which are about to negotiate new overall deals with the studios. From my conversations with insiders, it sounds like A.I. will be an important and contentious topic during these talks.