While OpenAI’s generative AI chatbot has taken the internet by storm, “Black Mirror” creator Charlie Brooker is not impressed with ChatGPT.
“I’ve toyed around with ChatGPT a bit,” Brooker told Empire Magazine, saying that he told the chatbot to generate an episode of his dystopian sci-fi series.
Instead of generating a new episode, Brooker said ChatGPT summarized old episodes of “Black Mirror” into an amalgamation as if it were the script for a new episode.
“It comes up with something that, at first glance, reads plausibly, but on second glance, is shit,” Brooker said.
Now entering its sixth season, “Black Mirror” is a British TV series similar to “The Twilight Zone.” Each standalone episode explores the potentially unsettling impacts of technology on society.
While ChatGPT may not be writing the next episode of “Black Mirror,” others see the idea of AI being used to continue or reboot properties as likely.
“[Consider] training an AI program on an older TV series, and creating an additional season,” actress and computer scientist Justine Bateman said on Twitter in May. “Family Ties, for example, has 167 episodes. An AI program could easily be trained on this, and create an eighth season. We only shot seven.”
As TV and film writers negotiate with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers for a resolution to the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike, the growing influence of generative AI weighs heavily on their minds. While ChatGPT’s narrative capabilities might not measure up to their standards, the prospect of studios utilizing the chatbot and other’s like it to replace human writers is a substantial worry of members, now in their third month of striking.
“All we’re asking them at this point is if you want to have AI-generated material, we accept that’s a reality, and you’re gonna do that, but that’s just researching,” screenwriter and TV producer Josh Friedman told Decrypt. “That’s not proper creative screenplay material.”
Friedman says the concern is that studio will use AI to crank out generic or “crappy” episodes and then hire one writer to edit what the chatbot produced, effectively doing the work that usually would take eight or ten writers to do.
For some, using AI to generate content amounts to high-tech plagiarism.
“If you use that to write a paper in college, it’s considered plagiarism. Why would it be anything different if you use it to write a pitch?” writer and producer of “Brave New World,” Molly Nussbaum said.