The hottest thing to talk about in Hollywood right now is AI. Everyone wants to know what people think of it and if they plan on using it. Enter David Simon, the creator of The Wire and one of the most esteemed writers in all of Hollywood. 

Like the rest of the WGA, Simon is on strike for a fair deal. And, like the rest of the writers, Simon is negotiating with studios that would not even engage with writers on their AI worries.  

In a recent interview with NPR, Simon says when it comes to using AI to solve script problems instead of working them out himself, "I'd rather put a gun in my mouth."

Simon has long been a champion of writers, and when it comes to the recent negotiations, he has a lot of feelings on the subject. When it comes to a writer possibly using AI as a tool, Simon feels fine with that.

He said, "If a writer wants to play around with AI as the writer and see if it helps him, I mean, I regard it as no different than him having a thesaurus or a dictionary on his desk or a book of quotable quotes. Play around with it. If it starts to lead the way in the sense that a studio exec comes to you and says, AI gave us this story that we want, that's not why I got into storytelling. And it's not where I'll stay if that's what storytelling is."

Simon also spent time chatting about what The Wire would be like if it debuted on streaming today. You see, Simon still gets residuals from that show. Enough to live on between projects. 

But what if that show had been on a streamer? 

How big would those checks be?

He says, "They'd be tiny. They'd be tiny."

Simon states:

"The amount of streaming residuals that we've gotten as compared to broadcast is relatively minimal, and we have to fight our way to a better and more plausible formula with the studios. And we had to do that with cable when it first arrived, and we have to do that with every technology. Every time a new technology comes in, the greed says, 'Oh, you know, we don't know how much we're going to make with this. We don't know whether it's actually viable.' This is what they said to us in the last strike in 2007. They said, 'We don't know about this streaming thing. We don't know if this is the future. We're not sure. Give us three more years or sixwell, we agree to talk about it.' That's literally what they said. And we said, 'No, the future is now.' And we went on strike. We got our foot in the door, and that's why we have some measure of address over streaming residuals. But we need more. We need the formulas to become plausible and compensate us for the fact that this is now the delivery system for a lot of the content."

Simon paints a pretty bleak current climate of where the career of a writer is in Hollywood. 

Hopefully, the strike can bring fair pay back into the conversation. 

Let me know what you think in the comments. 

Source: NPR

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