You’re not the only one spooked by the rise of artificial intelligence. Netflix is concerned enough about it that it listed generative AI as a potential risk factor in its annual filing.
The streaming giant added it to its annual 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Variety’s Todd Spangler was the first to spot the reference, which was an almost minute reference in the 37,000-word document.
“In addition, new technological developments, including the development and use of generative artificial intelligence, are rapidly evolving. If our competitors gain an advantage by using such technologies, our ability to compete effectively and our results of operations could be adversely impacted.”
Interest in AI blew up a year ago with the rise of ChatGPT and generative AI, which can not only answer questions, but generate new works, thoughts, and even art using information it’s learned from troves of data. ChatGPT’s popularity sparked an arms race of sorts, with Big Tech companies all rushing to develop their own generative AI systems.
The concern for artists and the entertainment industry is that generative AI could one day be smart enough to create wholesale films and shows on its own, without the need for actors, directors, or even sets. It was one of the big issues that both the actors and writers’ unions went on strike over, and ultimately won protections against the use of their face or words to power an AI content-producing machine.
The fear of AI extends beyond entertainment, with everyone from programmers to reporters facing a prospect that they could be replaced by AI. Despite safeguards laid out by the White House, there’s equal parts excitement and fear over the role that AI will play in our lives.
Risk factors tend to be fairly boilerplate comments about potential dangers facing a company, whether it’s competitors or legal issues. Spangler notes that no other language in the risk factors section was new from before. Netflix’s addition of generative AI may just be a perfunctory acknowledgement of risk, and it could be nothing more than that.
Or maybe Netflix is just as nervous as everyone else.