Netflix Wants to Hire AI Expert For $900,000 As Hollywood Strikes




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A scene from Netflix's Black Mirror episode Joan is Awful featuring the parody Streamberry Service

As writers and actors in Hollywood strike — partly because of the fears of artificial intelligence co-opting their work or appearance — the role of product manager for a machine learning/AI platform that pays handsomely surfaced on Netflix’s jobs listing page in a bad bit of timing.

The role, first eyed by Engadget, says that machine learning and AI will “power innovation in all areas of the business”, including helping buy and create content. The pay range for the job is $300,000 to $900,000.

The post comes amid growing fears that AI, which has exploded in capability and popularity over the last few months with ChatGPT, will take over various jobs like writers, coders and call center operators. The interest in AI has sparked a race by Big Tech companies such as Microsoft, Meta and Google to develop more powerful systems, even as AI experts warn of the potential dangers.

It’s unclear what exactly the product manager would do, and Netflix declined to comment on the story.

A page on Netflix’s research site describes in general terms what the company wants to use machine learning for, and discusses personalization and content production. AI has long been used in several businesses, from how your phone takes photos to how HR departments screen your resume.

The job post is particularly ironic given the latest season of Netflix’s Black Mirror, in which the premiere episode, “Joan is Awful,” focused on a parody version of Netflix using AI to generate real-time content after actors like Selma Hayek and Annie Murphy signed their image rights away.

While the episode raised an extreme example for entertainment purposes, those fears are playing out in real life on the picket lines in Hollywood, with both actors from the SAG-AFTRA union and writers from the Writers Guild of America holding work stoppages until they could secure new contracts from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers that include better pay, benefits and safeguards against the use of AI.

The AMPTP addressed the AI issue in a statement from May: “AI raises hard, important creative and legal questions for everyone…it’s something that requires a lot more discussion, which we’ve committed to doing.”

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