U.K. Writers Guild, Music Union Set Out AI Concerns

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The U.K. Writers Guild has published its policy on artificial intelligence, setting out the challenges and potential benefits of the technology for writers.

On the back of a recent survey organized by the Guild, which found 65% of respondents believed AI would reduce their writing income, the org. has published “Writers and AI: A policy position statement.”

Among the concerns the policy document sets out are worries about fewer job opportunities, pay, copyright infringement and lack of regulation. The Guild suggests that although AI is not yet “sophisticated” enough to mimic professional writers, “this is a likely future scenario.”

But, the Guild adds, the technology will never be able to match the “originality, authenticity, enthusiasm and humanity” of real writers.

It does, however, find some benefits from “ethical” AI, including allowing writers to diversify and detecting copyright infringement.

Among the recommendations in the policy document are that AI developers should only use work with express permission from the author, crediting authors whose work has been used to create AI content and the creation of an independent regulator to oversee and monitor AI expansion.

“There have been some incredible advancements in AI, but as with any new technology we need to weigh the risks against the benefits and ensure that the speed of development does not outpace or derail the protections that writers and the wider creative workforce rely upon to make a living,” said WGGB deputy general secretary Lesley Gannon.

“Regulation is clearly needed to safeguard workers’ rights and protect audiences from fraud and misinformation. WGGB is proposing a series of sensible recommendations that will help protect and reassure the writing community, whilst allowing them to enjoy the benefits of this undoubtedly powerful tool.”

The WGGB’s policy comes as U.K. Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin has urged U.K. culture secretary Lucy Frazer expressed his concern about AI in an open letter.

“It is important to stress that the music industry has good relations with the technology sector and we are proud of the many positive relationships and partnerships we have built with technology companies,” Njoku-Goodwin wrote. “But in trying to seize the opportunities of AI, it’s vital that we do not allow some AI firms to crush the human creativity which is the beating heart and soul of our world-leading music industry.”

Read Njoku-Goodwin’s letter here.

U.K. Writers Guild, Music Union Set Out AI Concerns

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