SAA position paper: AI must serve society and enhance human creativity

Read the SAA comprehensive position clarifying the specific challenges Artificial Intelligence poses to European audiovisual authors and their collective management organisations (CMOs).

In the audiovisual sector, AI tools have been used for years to improve visual effects and post-production processes, enhancing the visual experience of the audience. Today, technologies ingesting datasets of audiovisual works can generate audiovisual products that resemble original works with animation being the most exposed genre to generative AI products. Showrunner can create 22-minute generative AI episodes of popular TV shows. These recent developments have triggered many discussions on the pros and cons of AI for the film sector.

As far as audiovisual authors are concerned, AI applications can generate ideas and concepts for screenplays and film plots; they can suggest dialogues, scenes and drafts that the authors can play with. AI can help authors to experiment with different tones, genres, and voices in their work, etc. … until AI technologies produce reasonably similar products to existing audiovisual works at a lower cost, and the industry decides that authors can be replaced by AI. This is already happening with translators, photographers, designers, music composers and many others in the creative industries. These risks have been clearly expressed by many creators’ organisations in Europe and the US and were part of the issues at stake in the strike of the Writers’ Guild in the US.

Our paper focuses on 4 topics:

  1. The use of audiovisual works as training data for machine learning
  2. AI generated audiovisual production
    • AI-assisted versus AI-generated
    • Copyright protection
    • Unfair competition
  3. Principles for human-centred AI regulation that fosters creativity
    • Authorisation/licensing
    • Remuneration
    • Transparency
    • The role of CMOs
  4. Specific recommendations
    • AI Act
    • Copyright rules

We firmly believe that with the appropriate safeguards, AI can serve authors and society, enhancing creativity and cultural diversity. But this will only happen if policymakers and AI developers put human well-being at the centre of innovation. In the end, it is crucial that AI preserves and enhances human creativity, not replaces it.

We call on the policymakers to establish a responsible and equitable use of AI in the creative fields, securing audiovisual authors’ remuneration for the exploitation of their works, allowing them to continue their creative work and make a living out of their labour and craftmanship. Citizens and society at large must be at the centre of any policy decision.

Read our full position below,