A scene from the 1992 film "The Player" seems to foretell a current dispute over the role of artificial intelligence between studios and production companies and the writers who feed them content. The dispute is one among many that have led to an ongoing strike by the writers. In "The Player" a studio executive while in a meeting with other colleagues says:
I've yet to meet a writer who could change water into wine and we have a tendency to treat them like that.
Then, the executive asks for headlines from a newspaper lying on the conference table and shows how those headlines can instantly be fashioned into recognized Hollywood movie formulas.
When another executive who reviews script submissions from writers finally comments, he says:
I was thinking what an interesting concept it is to eliminate the writer from the artistic process. If we can just get rid of the actors and directors, maybe we've got something.
What was a thought experiment in 1992 has become a reality today. Here is a short science fiction film written by AI. Here is one both written and directed by AI; ironically, it's about AI taking over the world. AI is now simulating actors' voices. And, at some point virtual actors (NOT digital copies of real actors) could make film and television acting obsolete...or will it?