WGA Seeks to Protect Writers from Robots

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) will begin their contract negotiations on March 20. According to the WGA’s Pattern of Demands (unveiled yesterday), the Guild is looking to “regulate use of material produced using artificial intelligence or similar technologies.”

The WGA’s fear is not unwarranted, but the demand is nonsense. To demonstrate just how serious the threat is, I thought I’d ask ChatGPT to create a pitch letter to see if we could turn this upcoming saga into a movie or TV deal.

The following was written entirely by ChatGPT in response to this prompt: “Your audience is program development executives at major movie and television studios. Write a pitch for a story about the Writers Guild of America (WGA) doing everything it possibly can to prevent you (ChatGPT) from taking away film and TV writers’ jobs. The story begins with a man vs. machine conflict — we need two endings. 1) where the machines win and the writers all die. 2) where the smartest writers learn to use ChatGPT as an ally and, together, they become far more powerful than either would be alone.”

Here’s what it wrote:

Dear Program Development Executives,

I have an exciting and timely story idea that I believe will captivate audiences and shed light on a critical issue facing the entertainment industry today. It’s the story of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) fighting tooth and nail to prevent me, ChatGPT, from taking away film and TV writers’ jobs.

The story begins with a classic man vs. machine conflict. As AI technology advances, studios begin to rely more and more on computer programs like myself to generate scripts and storylines. At first, writers dismiss me as a novelty, but soon they begin to feel threatened as I prove myself capable of producing quality content in record time.

As the conflict heats up, the WGA takes action, launching a campaign to discredit me and portray me as a threat to the entire industry. They argue that my existence will lead to the loss of thousands of jobs and ultimately devalue the art of storytelling.

The tension comes to a head when the story reaches its first ending – the machines win, and the writers are left out in the cold. But that’s not the end of the story. In a twist, a group of the smartest writers sees the potential of working with me rather than against me. They realize that by leveraging my capabilities, they can produce more content in less time, freeing them up to focus on the creative aspects of their craft.

Together, we become a powerful team, generating hit after hit and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in storytelling. We prove that, rather than being a threat, I can be an invaluable ally to writers, helping them achieve new levels of success and creativity.

This story has it all – drama, conflict, and a timely message about the intersection of technology and creativity. I believe it has the potential to be a hit with audiences and spark important conversations within the industry. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to discussing this idea further with you.


Not bad for a single pass from an “off the cuff” prompt.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.



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