Disney, Netflix aggressively hiring AI Content Scabs amid writer/actor strike

As noted earlier this week by The Intercept, Netflix recently posted a job listing for a Product Manager-Machine Learning Platform — someone who can use AI/Machine Learning tech to help them produce content.

This single AI producer role offers a salary range between $300,000 and $900,000. While the high end of that job listing is likely an obfuscation related to California's new pay transparency laws — pretty much every Netflix job listing in California offers a higher-end salary of up to $900,000 —it's still quite a slap in the face when you consider the fact that the average pay for SAG-AFTRA actors is around $27 an hour, and that only about 12% of SAG-AFTRA members earn the $26,470 annual minimum required to qualify for the union's health insurance plan.

Not to be outdone by their streaming content competitors, Disney is also hiring for some high-end AI content producer jobs, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

One job, for an R&D Imagineer focused on generative AI, is looking for someone who has the "ambition to push the limits of what AI tools can create and understand the difference between the voice of data and the voice of a designer, writer or artist." The role will "collaborate with third party studios, universities, organizations, and developers to evaluate, adopt, and integrate the latest generative AI." The job promises a base salary of up to $180,000 per year, with the possibility of bonuses or other compensation as well.

Another role, for a machine learning engineer in the Disney Streaming Advanced Research division (it's "responsible for creating AI-enabled solutions for Disney+, Star+, and ESPN+," per the listing) will use AI to "work on advanced personalization efforts involving digital avatars."

In total, THR spotted some half-dozen AI-focused jobs at Disney. But the company is far from alone in exploring the space.

Of course, these companies would still end up hiring well-paid AI/Machine Learning content producer jobs even if there weren't an actor/writer strike on. The only thing the strike did was speed up the HR pipeline so they can show off to investors that they're prepared for the AI future.

As actors strike for AI protections, Netflix lists $900,000 AI job [Ken Klippenstein / The Intercept]

Studios Quietly Go on Hiring Spree for AI Specialist Jobs Amid Picket Line Anxiety [Alex Weprin / The Hollywood Reporter]