Canada’s entertainment industry seeks MPs protection against AI


Representatives from various sectors within the entertainment industry, including TV, movies, and music, are calling on the Canadian government to incorporate safeguards into its Artificial Intelligence (AI) legislation.

The groups argue that the unregulated use of AI poses a significant threat to their livelihoods and professional reputations.

The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) voiced concerns about the potential misuse of people’s names and images in artificially generated videos, raising the spectre of AI completely replacing human actors.

National president Eleanor Noble emphasized the paramount importance of reputation in the entertainment business, stating, “In the entertainment business, our reputation, including our name, image, and likeness is all we have. We are the brand.”

These appeals were made during a session with the House of Commons industry committee, which is currently examining the proposed Artificial Intelligence and Data Act.

The legislative framework aims to advance AI development while safeguarding individuals and communities from potential adverse effects.

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ACTRA’s Noble emphasized that subtle nuances in reputation can determine job opportunities, stating, “The difference between getting a job one day and not getting one the next can come down to the most minute things.”

The impact of AI on the entertainment industry has been a contentious issue, with last year witnessing significant strikes by actors and writers in the United States.

The Directors Guild of Canada expressed deep concerns about generative AI, citing it as an existential threat that reproduces extensive amounts of work without permission or compensation.

Dave Forget, the guild’s national executive director, highlighted the challenge for rightsholders in discerning when their works are used without consent in training AI models.

Generative AI, which uses existing material to create new content, has raised questions about how copyright law applies in Canada.

The Liberal government, recognizing this challenge, recently conducted a consultation on copyright and generative AI, while the United States has seen a series of high-profile lawsuits on the issue.

The music industry, represented by Music Canada, proposed that AI-generated content should be clearly labeled to distinguish it from human-created content.

The ongoing debate has prompted the Liberal government to consider amending the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act, part of Bill C-27, to address the challenges posed by generative AI.

The proposed amendments would include rules requiring companies to label AI-generated content and target what are described as “high-impact” AI systems, marking a significant step in balancing technological advancement with industry protection.

Source News Agencies