Netflix offers $900,000 for AI role amidst actor strike concerns.

Netflix offers $900,000 for AI role amidst actor strike concerns.

How Netflix is Taking on the Actors’ Strike with AI


As the actors’ and writers’ strikes continue to grip the film industry, one major streaming platform is taking a different approach to address the challenges. Netflix is focusing on AI and machine learning by recruiting top talent in this field. The streaming giant is actively seeking a product manager for their machine learning platform, with a salary range of $300,000 to $900,000. Additionally, they are also offering up to $650,000 for a generative AI technical director role in their gaming studio.

The listing for the product manager position indicates that AI will play a significant role in various aspects of Netflix’s business, including content acquisition and creation. It also mentions more traditional uses of AI, such as personalizing user content recommendations. By leveraging AI technologies, Netflix aims to enhance its content offerings and improve the user experience.

The rise of new AI-powered technologies is one of the central issues driving the actors’ strike. Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the national executive director and chief negotiator of the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA, considers the rise of generative AI as an “existential threat” to actors’ livelihoods.

The concern over AI stems from studios exploring the use of AI-generated digital likenesses of actors. Some studios have offered to pay background actors a fixed rate in exchange for scanning their physical appearances to create digital versions. However, the day rate for background actors can be as low as $200, according to the SAG-AFTRA contract.

Similar concerns are also shared by members of the Writers Guild of America, who have been on strike since May. They worry that financial pressures on entertainment companies may push the leaders to rely heavily on AI, potentially impacting writers’ opportunities.

In response to these concerns, the actors’ union’s national board walked out after failing to reach a new contract that would impose limitations on the use of AI, among other issues. The strikes have left the industry in turmoil, highlighting the need for a balanced approach that addresses the concerns of both the entertainment industry workers and the technological advancements.

Netflix’s strategic move to invest in AI talent demonstrates their commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation while navigating the challenges posed by the strikes. Their focus on AI and machine learning is not just limited to personalized content recommendations but extends to every facet of their business.

While some may view AI as a threat, it also presents numerous opportunities for the industry. AI can revolutionize content creation, allowing for more diverse storytelling and imaginative productions. By embracing AI responsibly, entertainment companies can strike a balance between the utilization of technology and the preservation of human creativity.

As the industry evolves, striking a compromise that safeguards the livelihoods of actors and writers while embracing AI’s potential will be imperative. The negotiations between the unions and studios should involve an open dialogue to ensure that technological advancements do not undermine the roles and contributions of entertainment professionals.

Representatives for Netflix did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, made outside normal working hours. However, their strategic focus on AI talent showcases their commitment to innovation and their willingness to address the concerns raised by the actors’ strike. By investing in AI, Netflix is not just reimagining the way we consume content, but also participating in shaping the future of the entertainment industry.