The dawn of the A.I. labor dispute era has begun. The Writers Guild of America this week became the first major labor union to secure a contract guaranteeing its members protections from the rapidly developing technology, which is poised to displace innumerable jobs in the coming years. After nearly 150 days on strike, the screenwriters secured a number of groundbreaking wins in their new contract with the major film and television studios. The terms, shared by the guild, prevent the studios from using A.I. to write or rewrite material, from forcing writers to use A.I. software when producing scripts, and crediting A.I. for screenwriting, among other things. “Guild reserves right to assert that exploitation of writers’ material to train A.I. is prohibited by [the contract] or other law,” the WGA’s summary of the terms added, though it was not a total victory for the writers and the studios did retain some rights to use A.I. Arriving at that point was not easy. Negotiating terms around the use of A.I. was, in fact, one of the final sticking points in the talks between the studios and screenwriters, people familiar with the matter have told CNN. But it was a seminal moment — not only for the screenwriters, but because it is likely to set precedent as labor unions representing other trades negotiate terms for their members in the near future. Until now, there had not yet been a major labor dispute that hinged so heavily on the growing threat to livelihood brought by A.I. That is sure to change. The sudden rise of the disruptive technology poses an existential threat to workers in a wide array of industries. Other writing-centric professions, such as journalism, will certainly be impacted by the technology. But it’s difficult to see how every industry will not be dramatically affected by the spate of ever-learning machines that have been unleashed upon the world. As more workplaces are threatened, employees will demand that guardrails be erected. And the pioneering deal the WGA struck with the studios will help — at least in the short term — serve as a template. Whether those guardrails prove to be enough to tame the unprecedented new technology and protect jobs (nevermind, humanity) far into the future remains to be seen. Can you lock up A.I. in a cage and prevent it from biting the hand that raised it? There are certainly plenty of reasons to be alarmed. Regardless of what ultimately happens, history will mark this moment as a milestone in A.I. labor disputes. The man versus machine wars have, effectively, arrived. Buckle up.