Future Unscripted: The Impact of Generative AI on Entertainment Industry Jobs

The Animation Guild (IATSE Local 839), along with Concept Art Association (CAA),  The Human Artistry Campaign, and The National Cartoonist Society Foundation commissioned CVL Economics, a leading authority in economic development and growth, to conduct a comprehensive survey on the profound impact of Gen AI on jobs within the entertainment industry.

The study, conducted between November 17 and December 22, 2023, surveyed 300 C-Suite leaders, senior executives, and mid-level managers across six key entertainment industries to better understand how this technology is being used now, how it will be used over the next three years, and assessing how these technologies will impact creative workers.

The results reflect an important reality that entertainment industry leaders are increasingly  embracing GenAI technology to the detriment of creative workers.

Some of the key Findings:

Three-fourths (75%) of survey respondents indicated GenAI tools, software, and/or models had supported the elimination, reduction, or consolidation of jobs in their business division. At the same time, most executives and managers indicate GenAI has already led to the creation of new job titles and roles in their organization. Whether these new jobs will offset inevitable job losses is not clear.

Over 90% of business leaders foresee GenAI playing a larger role in the entertainment industries, with 26% indicating it would play a significantly larger role over the next three years. That said, only 26% of respondents felt their organization’s workforce was fully prepared for the integration of GenAI into their workflows.

Almost half (47%) of business leaders felt that over the next three years, GenAI will be effective in generating 3D assets as well as realistic sound design for film, television, and video games. Another 44% believed GenAI would be able to generate realistic and convincing foreign-language dubbing for film or television dialogue, and 39% believed GenAI would be generating music mixes and masters by 2026.

About 21.4% of Film, Television, and Animation jobs (or approximately 118,500 jobs) are likely to have a sufficient number of tasks affected to be either consolidated, replaced, or eliminated by GenAI in the U.S. by 2026. As the state with the largest industry employment and industry concentration (or location quotient), California will be impacted the most (affecting 39,500 jobs) both in total job disruption nationwide and with respect to its own economy. New York also has a relatively high employment concentration and will see 15,100 film, television, and animation jobs affected over the next three years.

Established on April 4, 2023, the TAG AI Task Force is examining the impact of machine learning and AI on the animation industry and its workers. Specifically, the task force will:

  • Identify concerns of TAG members with respect to AI and machine learning, and investigate how to protect the membership from the potential negative effects of automation.

  • Research the current state of machine learning and AI techniques used in animation.

  • Identify the ethical considerations and potential drawbacks of using machine learning in animation.

  • Evaluate information shared with the task force.

  • Create a report detailing the findings of the task force and present it to the membership.

  • Provide recommendations for how The Animation Guild can address the effects of machine learning and AI on the animation production process and its workers in an ethical and responsible manner.