Though this week’s awards ceremony recognized a diverse range of actors, I was surprised that there was no mention of AI.

You have to believe that it was lurking behind every award, whether overtly applied or surreptitiously used.

Modern entertainment content is an artifact of technology. Instead of having to stand within earshot or visual distance of an artist, tech provides amplification, recording, editing, and distributing tools that expand the breadth and depth of our experiences of their art.

Artificial intelligence already makes each of those activities better, more efficient, and less costly, but we just don’t label it that way. Algorithms, smart programs, design tools, CGI, advanced search, audience reaction research, and a long list of other terms reference the same idea.

Then there are all of the unspoken ways AI is used. For instance, does any sober critic believe that generative AI didn’t touch at least one award-winning script…whether in writing or analyzing and ranking it? What about actors, agents, producers, or anybody else involved in the works of art nominated for an award? Nobody used it to interpret or recommend what they should say or do in so-and-so circumstances?

It’s a given that at least some if not many of the marketers working on those titles used ChatGPT to help streamline pitch development or targeting.

So, AIs shared more than one of the awards at the event, though the tech never got any recognition for it.

I understand that the recent writers’ strike resulted in some agreements on limiting AI’s use in making content, so it’ll take a few more rounds of renegotiated deals before AIs are identified as primary sources for script writing (and editing, directing, etc.). They can delay but not forestall the inevitable.

Will AIs be allowed to win awards on their own? Maybe their extant contributions will be recognized first and included in award nominations.

“The best actor in a supporting role on a TV drama is Blah Blah, supported by his AI suite Perfect Role.”

Maybe we’ll start seeing a general tech # cited along with each creative title that somehow summarizes how much of the final product was the result of AI, and then the foreign correspondents will weight their votes accordingly (either as a benefit or demerit).

Maybe we’ll see a new awards program emerge…something like The Golden Circuit Awards…that are limited exclusively to the semi-sentient technologies used to create content. A cadre of humans could be tasked with independently using generative AIs to produce votes for winners.

What’s for sure is that we don’t have to wonder when an AI will win a Golden Globe.

It already has.

[This essay originally appeared at Spiritual Telegraph]