Pact reveals principles for AI use in UK film production

AI writing 2001 A Space Odyssey
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The UK screen sector trade body Pact has issued guidelines on how AI should (and shouldn’t) be used in film production. At least somebody in the UK has, right?

Pact is the UK screen sector trade body that represents and supports independent production and distribution companies. As such, it plays an influential role in helping to shape and grow the UK indie sector which hopefully will soon be growing given that the UK government has recently offered a boost in tax relief to try and help the industry to compete with the many large-scale productions that fill our studios and hire our crews.

We all know that AI is not just on the horizon, but here – in our lives and already affecting the world we live in today. The use of AI in the film industry proved to be a huge issue throughout last year’s strikes in Hollywood and could well be again as the teamsters threaten to strike this summer if studios don’t rule out taking their jobs with self-driving vehicles and other inventions.

As such, Pact has published a set of principles for the use of AI in the UK screen sector (thanks, Screen Daily). Here they are:

Pact AI principles

1. Respecting copyright: Pact considers that copyright works should be protected from being used illegally in contravention of UK copyright law.

2. Valuing human creativity: Pact believes in the value of human creativity and artistic talent in the production process. This cannot be replaced by AI.

3. Responsibility and accountability: Pact considers that there should be transparency over the use of generative AI tools within the production process. Pact members will continue to take responsibility for all content that they produce.

4. Diversity and inclusion: Pact supports minimising and mitigating bias in AI models, and encourages members to use generative AI tools that have been developed to express diversity.

5. Data Privacy: Pact agrees that privacy must be protected and promoted throughout the AI lifecycle and production process.

To accompany the principles, Pact is finalising guidance for using AI at each stage of the production process, asking members to consider the risks and opportunities involved.

The guidance – developed in conjunction with industry experts and Pact’s AI working group, which comprises members across a range of genres – will be iterative, meaning it will be updated as the technology develops.  

The guidelines come on the same day as the European Parliament ‘approved the world’s first comprehensive framework for constraining the risks of AI, for implementation within the EU.’ As we’re no longer in the EU, we won’t be afforded the same protections here in the UK, possibly because our own government is happy for us to all be murdered by robot T-800s at some unspecified point in the future.

At least thanks to Pact, the UK industry now has a set of principles to abide by, and it’ll be interesting to see how companies respond to this guidance over the next few years. Watch this space, we suppose.

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