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ZeniMax strikes tentative deal with union on AI

As ZeniMax Workers United and the Communication Workers of America continue to negotiate their first contract with Microsoft subsidiary ZeniMax, the groups today released an update on talks, saying they have reached a tentative agreement with the company that would impact how it can incorporate artificial intelligence into its business.

The union said that the deal “commits ZeniMax to uses of AI that augment human ingenuity and capacities, to ensure that these tools enhance worker productivity, growth and satisfaction without causing workers harm.”

Under the terms of the deal, wherever ZeniMax rolls out AI in a way that impacts the work of union members, the company will provide advance notice to the union and negotiate its plans upon request.

Additionally, it lays out six “guiding principles” for AI’s use in the workplace, insisting the tech must be fair; reliable and safe; private and secure; inclusive; transparent; and accountable.

“It’s hard to say how developments with AI may impact our work, but now we can be more confident that the agreement will help to protect us as we navigate the potential adoption of AI into our workflow,” said ZeniMax Workers United-CWA member and senior QA tester Dylan Burton.

“It is crucial that all workers have a voice in what role AI plays in their work and can hold their employers accountable for the impacts of its use.”

The ZeniMax union was formed last January, months after ZeniMax parent company Microsoft signed a labor neutrality agreement with the CWA in exchange for the union’s support of the Activision Blizzard acquisition as it was examined by various consumer protection and antitrust agencies around the world.

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