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Actors' livelihoods are at risk from artificial intelligence (AI) unless the law changes, a union warns. Equity, the performing arts workers union, has launched a new campaign, « Stop AI Stealing the Show ». AI can use samples of an actor's voice or face, to generate content including so-called « deep fakes ». Equity highlights a number of different ways actors' voices and likenesses may be used. For example actors may work with AI firms to create systems that can generate artificial voice-overs or to help them create digital « avatars ».


De Blasio's 'Open Culture' program blasted by performers for low pay, lackluster safety standards

FOX News

President of the NYS Troopers BPA Thomas Mungeer claims New York City mayor's orders are in violation of Americans constitutional rights A prominent actors' union is torching Mayor Bill de Blasio's "Open Culture" program, citing lackluster safety standards and low pay concerns. The initiative permits outdoor cultural performances on designated New York City streets. Mary McColl, executive director of the Actors' Equity Association, warned members to "contact your business representative immediately before accepting" a part in projects affiliated with the new program. The message was sent to members Thursday in an email blast obtained by Fox News. "The current structure of the program does not meet Equity's minimum standards for wages or COVID-19 safety," McColl wrote.


How have the arts reacted to cash injection?

BBC News

The arts industry has largely welcomed the government's announcement of with a £1.57bn support package. It followed several weeks of lobbying from theatres, music venues, art galleries and other cultural institutions, many of which said they were on the brink of collapse. While the funding has been warmly welcomed, many venues are sounding a note of caution as they await further details on how the money will be allocated and news of when venues will be allowed to re-open. Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said the package is all "new money" and has two broad aims - to preserve "crown jewel" venues like the Royal Albert Hall and national galleries, while also helping local institutions across the UK. The funding was well-received by composer Lord Lloyd-Webber, who said the news is "truly welcome at a time when so many theatres, orchestras, entertainment venues and other arts organisations face such a bleak future".


Uber should take a lesson from the film industry on how to treat its workers

Los Angeles Times

The tide may be turning for workers in the so-called gig economy as it becomes increasingly obvious that gig work is not the win-win proposition that the Ubers of the world like us to believe it is. Just this month, in response to mounting protests, the supermarket shopping platform Instacart reversed what it conceded was a "misguided" policy of counting tips as part of its workers' base pay. The move came on the heels of successful efforts by drivers for Uber and Lyft to win what amounts to a minimum wage in New York City and the groundbreaking Dynamex decision by the California Supreme Court, which sharply limited who can be considered an independent contractor rather than an employee. This shift in sentiment shouldn't be surprising. New research confirms what many of us have long suspected: Most gig workers are not otherwise employed people looking for a quick and easy way to earn a few extra dollars.


Video game voice actors will strike on October 21st

Engadget

The Screen Actor's Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has announced that it will advise its members appearing in video games to take industrial action on Friday, October 21st. It's the culmination of a pitched battle between the union and the video game industry over how artists are compensated. SAG president Gabrielle Carteris said that despite months of negotiations, the pair haven't reached a fair agreement to cover actors appearing in "the most popular games in the world." The issue centers around how performers aren't compensated for appearing in games the same as they would for movies. In the words of Carteris, this is a "highly profitable industry" and that the strike is a way for SAG to secure for actors the "benefits they deserve."