The Hollywood Jobs Most at Risk From AI


A recent study, commissioned by the Concept Art Assn. and the Animation Guild, reveals that AI tools are significantly impacting job prospects in the entertainment industry. According to the report, approximately 204,000 positions are expected to be adversely affected over the next three years, with sound engineers, voice actors, concept artists, and entry-level employees among those facing the greatest displacement. This widespread adoption of human-mimicking chatbots and AI-generated content is reshaping the labor landscape, prompting concerns about role consolidation and reduced job opportunities.

The Animation Guild plans to leverage this study in upcoming negotiations with studios to safeguard against potential job displacement due to AI. Guardrails around the use of AI have emerged as a focal point in contract negotiations, following the pattern set by previous industry strikes involving writers and actors. Studio demands for AI allowances are expected to clash with union efforts to protect their jurisdiction and members from the impact of generative AI.

The study indicates that over two-thirds of Hollywood firms are early adopters of AI technology, with a significant number foreseeing job displacement in areas such as sound editing, 3D modeling, and graphic design within the next three years. By 2026, it is predicted that over 20% of all entertainment industry jobs, around 118,500 positions, will be affected by AI. Tasks such as creating realistic sound design, developing 3D assets, and foreign-language dubbing are flagged as particularly vulnerable to AI displacement.

Notably, the report highlights the vulnerability of visual effects work in the face of AI tools, with nearly 80% of early AI adopters using the technology in postproduction. Tools like TrueSnyc, capable of manipulating lip movement for dubbing, are projected to impact demand for multilingual voice actors. Similarly, AI tools are poised to alter the employment landscape in other production stages, potentially reducing the need for roles such as de-aging artists, concept artists, illustrators, and animators.

AI image generators are also making significant inroads, enabling streamlined production processes in areas such as 3D modeling, storyboarding, animation, and concept art. However, concerns about the potential exploitation of AI-generated material, coupled with legal uncertainties regarding copyright, add complexity to the decision-making process around job cuts in favor of AI tools.

Concept artists, in particular, have seen a reduction in opportunities as AI tools have become more prevalent. Testimonials from industry professionals further underscore the impact, with reports of advertising companies and game studios adopting AI tools to rapidly produce concepts and illustrations, leading to diminished demand for traditional concept artists.

In light of these developments, the study emphasizes the need for ongoing dialogue and proactive measures to address the impact of AI on jobs in the entertainment industry.  

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