Did Black Mirror predict the future?

An episode of the sixth season of Black Mirror foreshadowed exactly one of the things SAG-AFTRA is protesting today: How long have we been seen by Charlie Brooker’s dystopian series?

There are those who criticized the sixth season Black mirrorarrived Netflix the last one is June 15 because it’s too close to the present that we’re already living. And this is most true in the case of the first episode called “Joan is terriblereflecting on the topic: the use of artificial intelligence in the entertainment industry. This is one of the hottest issues on which negotiations between producers (AMPTP, which also represents major video streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+) and members of SAG-AFTRA, an alliance of American actors and artists, are currently on strike. What about the first episode of season 6? Black mirror did he predict, for better or for worse, what would happen in just a month?

The problem of AI in film and television

Among the hot topics of the strike – along with wage adjustments and residual quotas stemming from “reruns” – is the use of artificial intelligence in film and TV production. SAG-AFTRA claims manufacturers are promoting a business model that predicts indiscriminate use of an actor’s image, once its image has been scanned and saved. This will happen with zero compensation or with the payment of a one-time salary to the plaintiff. The results on screen can be terrible, and more importantly, such a system will completely devalue the work of the actors and their contribution to the artistic product.

Black Mirror: How ‘Joan Terrible’ Envisioned the Future

The specific dangers of artificial intelligence being used by Hollywood played out right in the episode Black mirror Joan is terrible. The episode follows a woman named Joan (Annie Murphy) who discovers the existence of a streaming television series that dramatizes her life called “Joan is Terrible”. In the series, Joan plays Salma Hayek which faithfully reproduces Joan’s actual events moments after they happened.

Joan discovers it’s all perfectly legal, as she allowed Streamberry (like Netflix) to use her identity when she agreed to the platform’s terms. He also learns that the actress he sees on the screen is not Salma Hayek at all, but his doppelgänger is artificially recreated and licensed to the studio. Committing unseemly acts, he thus tries to attract the attention of the real Salma Hayek. The latter, although upset, cannot make a claim because she signed to grant the rights to her image forever, so Streamberry can use it as they see fit.

We will not tell how the series ended, so as not to spoil the surprise for those who have not seen it yet, but some of them are impossible not to notice. disturbing assonances with an issue denounced by the Hollywood actors’ union. The entertainment industry is indeed moving in the paradoxical direction envisioned Black mirror? The two ongoing strikes, the actors’ strike and the writers’ strike, serve to prevent it.

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