News Update


Despite Hollywood strikes, Netflix advertises $900,000 AI positions.

After posting a job advertisement for an artificial intelligence (AI) expert, Netflix elicited an outraged response from striking Hollywood actors and writers.

The new post would be part of Netflix’s Machine Learning Platform team, which drives the Netflix algorithm that helps consumers choose new shows to watch.

It pays up to $900,000 (£700,000) every year, which fuels even more indignation.

Hollywood unions are on strike over fears about how artificial intelligence may effect the entertainment business and compensation.

The job posting, which was first revealed by The Intercept on Tuesday, is one of several on the Netflix job page that seeks individuals with experience in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).

The job description is vague about whether the role will advise on content – the TV shows and films that Netflix chooses to invest in.

Another available position on the Machine Learning Platform team describes the future employee as “collecting feedback and understanding user needs” and ultimately assisting with investment decisions.

According to the job description, the post will involve applying AI to estimate financing needs for various programs.

This is a major problem for the actors’ union, Sag-Aftra, which has expressed concerns about algorithms wielding too much power.

According to Fran Drescher of Sag-Aftra, the unique success of any film or television program is today far less essential than it was when broadcast television was dominating.

“Algorithms dictate how many episodes a season need to be before you reach a plateau of new subscribers, and how many seasons a series needs to be on,” she claims.

“This reduces the number of episodes per season to six to ten, and the number of seasons to three or four.” You cannot survive on that.

“We’re being systematically squeezed out of our livelihood by a business model that was imposed on us and has caused a slew of issues for everyone up and down the ladder.”

The WGA has proposed a system that regulates the use of AI in the writing process and forbids it from being used as source material.

Netflix declined to comment on the job postings, but has previously stated that artificial intelligence will not replace the creative process.

“The best stories are original, insightful, and often come from people’s own experiences,” according to Netflix.

Some striking actors reacted angrily to the revelation of the most recent AI-based job ad, noting that they must make $26,470 in order to be eligible for health insurance benefits.

“So $900k/yr per soldier in their godless AI army when that amount of earnings could qualify thirty-five actors and their families for Sag-Aftra health insurance is just ghoulish,” actor Rob Delaney said to The Intercept.

Javier Grillo-Marxuach, well known for his work on the Lost series, accused Netflix of “pretending to be poor while recruiting VERY (more than I’ve ever made in a year BY FAR) well-paid generals for your soulless army of silicon plagiarists.”

Netflix announced the debut of a new app, My Netflix, earlier this week, which the company describes as “a one-stop shop tailored to you with easy shortcuts to help you choose what you want to watch.”


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