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Netflix lists $900,000 AI job as actors and writers continue to strike

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

As the field of artificial intelligence continues to expand, companies are actively seeking top talent to lead and drive innovation in AI-related roles.

These high-paying job listings are a testament to the increasing demand for skilled professionals in the AI domain, just as actors are advocating for better pay and protections in the entertainment industry.

actor strike

One such lucrative job opportunity is Netflix's recent posting for a machine learning platform product manager. This position offers an astounding annual salary range of $300,000 to $900,000.

The substantial compensation reflects the importance of this role in overseeing and optimizing Netflix's machine-learning platform, which plays a pivotal role in content recommendation, personalization, and user experience.

The job post has sparked a debate about the disparity in pay between AI-related positions and traditional entertainment jobs, such as acting, where actors may receive a meager $200 a day, despite their contributions to the industry's success.

Netflix's commitment to AI is not an isolated case; other entertainment giants like Disney are also investing heavily in artificial intelligence.

Although Disney has not divulged specific details about its AI investments, job postings, and financial disclosures reviewed by The Intercept indicate the extent of their embrace of AI technology.

Disney's senior AI engineer role, which aims to "drive innovation across cinematic pipelines and theatrical experiences," offers yet another high-paying opportunity for AI experts.

Notably, AI is already playing a crucial role in various Disney studios, including Marvel, Walt Disney Animation, and Pixar, underscoring the increasing integration of AI within the entertainment industry.

However, while the AI revolution presents exciting possibilities, actors' concerns about the potential impact of AI on their profession are valid.

Striking actors are demanding protections against the unauthorized manipulation of their scanned likenesses by AI, ensuring they receive fair compensation for any AI-generated use of their images.

Netflix's Spanish reality dating series, Deep Fake Love, is an example of AI being used to create "deepfake" content by scanning contestants' faces, highlighting the relevance of actors' demands in safeguarding their artistic identity and financial interests.

The ongoing negotiations between the actors' union, SAG-AFTRA, and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are emblematic of the industry's struggle to find common ground on the usage of AI in entertainment.

The rejection of the one-time $ 200-day rate proposal for actors to get scanned as AI-enhanced CGI simulacrums have raised questions about ownership, consent, and compensation in an age where AI can perpetually reproduce an actor's likeness.

In addition to Netflix's machine learning platform product manager role, the company is also hiring a technical director for generative AI at its burgeoning gaming studio, offering a remarkable annual salary of up to $650,000. This exemplifies the ongoing demand for AI expertise across diverse entertainment sectors.

As the debate continues, it is imperative for the entertainment industry to navigate the integration of AI with careful consideration for the well-being and rights of its workforce.

Balancing the potential benefits of AI with fair compensation and ethical guidelines for its use is essential to ensure a harmonious coexistence between AI-driven innovations and the creativity and talent of actors and other entertainment professionals.


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