Leave it to the creator of Black Mirror to prove how much AI-written scripts really suck.
Charlie Brooker, the man behind the Netflix sci-fi series about relationships between humans and technology, revealed that he used the controversial artificial-intelligence software ChatGPT to pen an episode.
And the results were not exactly Emmy-worthy.
“I’ve toyed around with ChatGPT a bit,” Brooker told Empire ahead Black Mirror’s Season 6 premiere. “The first thing I did was type ‘generate Black Mirror episode’ and it comes up with something that, at first glance, reads plausibly, but on second glance, is shit.”
“Because all it’s done is look up all the synopses of Black Mirror episodes and sort of mush them together,” he added. “Then if you dig a bit more deeply you go, ‘Oh, there’s not actually any real original thought here.’”
ChatGPT, or Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer, is a large language model that was launched by the AI research lab OpenAI last November. The software is just one of several chatbots on the internet. But its level of intelligence and growing popularity, plus the expanding use of AI across different fields, has fueled a lot of anxiety around its potential replacement of human work.
In Hollywood, specifically, AI-generated scripts have become a pressing topic, thanks to the ongoing Writers of Guild of America strike. Among their list of demands for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the union is requesting regulations on the use of AI in writers’ rooms, including a ban on AI-generated source material and rewritten scripts. So far, the AMPTP has rejected their proposal, offering to hold “annual meetings to discuss advancements in technology” instead.
The Directors Guild, however, succeeded in securing language in its deal with studios that confirms “AI is not a person and that generative AI cannot replace the duties performed by members.”
Hollywood actors have also raised concerns about the expansion of AI in their field. Conversations amongst SAG-AFTRA members, who recently authorized a potential strike, have been similarity focused on AI limitations and how performers can financially benefit from technology, such as voice-cloning.
Presumably, the ongoing fight for human-crafted material will be addressed on Black Mirror when it returns on June 15. One episode, starring Salma Hayek Pinault and written by Brooker, follows a woman who discovers that a streamer made a show about her life borrowing her image.
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