PHIL SIMON

Award-winning author, dynamic keynote speaker, trusted advisor, & workplace tech expert 

THE WORLD’S FOREMOST INDEPENDENT WORKPLACE COLLABORATION AND TECH EXPERT

Not Just Hollywood: The Nine Are Coming for You, Too

Thoughts on a few of the powerful forces colliding as we speak.
Aug | 23 | 2023

 

Aug | 23 | 2023
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Image source: DreamStudio

As its subtitle conveys, The Nine covers the tectonic forces reshaping the workplace. If you think that AI, immersive technologies, automation, and the like will leave your position or employer unscathed, you’re dead wrong. These forces are colliding in expected and disruptive ways. As I mention in the book and in workshops, no industry, team, department, or organization should adopt a business-as-usual strategy.

Make no mistake: Each of the nine forces is a big deal.

Take the twin Hollywood strikes—a topic about which I’ve written before. Yes, there’s been some progress lately, but I’m not betting on a resolution anytime soon. I base that belief on four of the nine forces detailed in the book.

Inflation

Despite the Fed’s aggressive efforts to quash inflation, the national cost of living unexpectedly increased last month. With respect to Hollywood types, rents in Los Angeles have spiked, as my boy Brian Cranston recently discussed on The Dan Patrick show:

Additional existential threats aside for the moment, writers would be justifiably clamoring for raises in an inflationary environment.

Studio execs recognize the inevitability of paying their talent increased wages. (Only George Costanza negotiates for less money.) To maintain profit margins, they’ll have to mitigate the financial impact of the impending rise in labor costs. Not coincidentally, some streaming services have announced monthly subscription increases.

AI

Expect the very same forces to affect your employer, team, job, and industry soon—if they haven’t already.

Creative types understandably don’t want to train themselves out of jobs. Generative AI tools like ChatGPT hallucinate like hell. No, they can’t write screen-worthy scripts yet, but is the concept entirely inconceivable? Charlie Booker of Black Mirror fame knows that he can outwrite ChatGPT now, but will he and his ilk be able to say the same in five years without adequate strict contractual protections?

Don’t bet on it.

Related Reading

How will AI impact work? 4 questions we should be asking

Read my latest Quartz piece

Fractions

Say that you accept the premise that we humans will always be able to outwrite increasingly powerful AI programs. Right now, the latter can generate flawed and somewhat formulaic storylines and plots

Let’s play this out, though.

As AI becomes more sophisticated, studios will rely upon part-time writers or a single human to massage a bunch of AI-generated screenplays. Why wouldn’t a Hollywood exec try to save $50k/year plus benefits per writer?

Analytics and Transparency

Lastly, we live in an age in which we can quantify the seconds that people spend viewing content. Against this backdrop, is it any wonder that residuals over streaming rights have become so contentious?

Expect more data-related battles like these as more states pass pay-transparency laws.

Simon Says

You probably don’t work in movies or TV, but foolish is the soul who ignores these powerful forces. Expect the very same ones to affect all employers, teams, jobs, and industries soon—if they haven’t already.

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1 Comment

  1. Ron Godiska

    As a scientist, I have always dreamed of something like ChatGPT trained on *real* science… the decades of research hidden away in journals (and easily accessible to anyone via PubMed). One can imagine it could synthesize all that disparate research into coherent theories of how life and engineering work.

    Now, as a science writer, I am clinging to my Luddite hope that I can ignore ChatGPT and its friends. But I know that will change soon. Very soon.

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Blog E AI E Not Just Hollywood: The Nine Are Coming for You, Too

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1 Comment

  1. Ron Godiska

    As a scientist, I have always dreamed of something like ChatGPT trained on *real* science… the decades of research hidden away in journals (and easily accessible to anyone via PubMed). One can imagine it could synthesize all that disparate research into coherent theories of how life and engineering work.

    Now, as a science writer, I am clinging to my Luddite hope that I can ignore ChatGPT and its friends. But I know that will change soon. Very soon.