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As the joint SAG-AFTRA/WGA strike enters its second week—with the use of artificial intelligence in film and TV production one of the main sticking points—Netflix is looking to hire AI developers to fill the Product Manager and Technical Director roles in its R&D Labs and Machine Learning division, respectively.
“We are creating a new product management role to increase the leverage of our Machine Learning Platform,” Netflix said in the job posting.
Both positions will be based in the stream platform’s headquarters in Los Gatos, CA, but can be done remotely, Netflix said, and carry hefty six-figure salaries, $450,000 - 650,000 for the Technical Director and $300,000 to $900,000 for the Product Manager position.
“At Netflix, we carefully consider a wide range of compensation factors to determine your personal top of market,” Netflix said in the listings. “We rely on market indicators to determine compensation and consider your specific job, skills, and experience to get it right. These considerations can cause your compensation to vary and will also be dependent on your location.”
The use of AI in Hollywood is a concern of both writers and actors—writers who feel their jobs may be replaced with generative AI tools like ChatGPT, and actors who are already finding their faces and bodies scanned for background roles—data capture that could lead to the indefinite use of their likeness for little to no compensation.
"I don't think the AMPTP realized how ready we are to fight," SAG-AFTRA member and actress Laci Mosley said. "They think they're going to wait us out and starve people out to motivate us back to the table.
The hiring notice reflects the high demand for machine learning and AI expertise, and due to the breakneck speed at which AI has developed since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November, both positions require experience in game design and the machine learning field. Still, neither shows a requirement for a college degree.
According to the Netflix LinkedIn job posting, the positions became available last week, coincidentally around the same time that the negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) collapsed, leading to the actors joining the already striking writers on the picket line.
Earlier this month, researchers at Netflix introduced the Magenta Green Screen (MGS), which uses artificial intelligence to create more realistic visual effects.
"AI for the Writers Guild, and I think this is true for the actors too, is a small but important part of the larger picture," WGA negotiation committee member Michael Schur told Decrypt outside Paramount Pictures. “The larger picture is when the companies are beholden to Wall Street, the media companies that we work for, all they care about is efficiency," Schur said, "this is the new wave of tech money that has come in Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and venture capital."
Netflix could not be reached for comment.