The #AI Writer’s Strike or Luddites With Keyboards

The Battle of Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley Is an Artful Dodge To Reduce Competition

Jeff Cunningham
2 min readSep 27, 2023

The art of storytelling is the world’s oldest profession (the one that most of us think is the oldest wasn’t known until a story was told). With its glitz and glamour, Hollywood makes its living telling them the old-fashioned way; however, the latest generative content tool called #AI or artificial intelligence has given it writer’s cramp. The rise of AI content poses an existential threat, and the Hollywood writers’ strike was an attempt to eject an invasive species from the magic kingdom.

While the primary issue revolved around money, AI scriptwriting was the undercurrent of fear in the writer community. The capabilities of AI have grown exponentially and can now generate coherent and compelling narratives. AI challenges the fabled human touch in storytelling, and Hollywood writers understandably and selfishly view it as a potential threat.

By removing AI from the picture forgive the pun, human writers become indispensable. The movie title could be “Rage Against The Machine Kills Machine Learning.” It’s a blockbuster, that’s for sure, at least around Santa Monica.

Interestingly, other fields have yet to call on tactics to prevent AI from shifting the career fulcrum away from engineers writing code to low-level call center operators. Too bad they don’t have the sympathy of legions of elite movie fanatics who enjoy a romantic, if fanciful, tale of man against machine.

This tug-of-war is not new. Folktales have long illustrated the human against technological might. With a hammer in hand, John Henry raced against a steam-powered drilling machine, symbolizing an indomitable spirit of a highly romanticized view of determination in the face of industrialization.

What the lesson teaches us is twofold. No one thinks about mining with a sledgehammer anymore, although we still love the stubborn determination of John Henry. Secondly, while the story is cliched, it would undoubtedly make a great AI writing algorithm in which John Henry keeps his job and ends up running the company.