In June, Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker used ChatGPT to write an episode and deemed the results “shit.”
“I said to ChatGPT, ‘Go give me an outline for a Black Mirror story,” said Brooker at the International Convention Centre SXSW event in Sydney, according to The Guardian. “The first couple of sentences, you feel a cold spike of fear, like animal terror… like I’m being f-ing replaced.”
Instead of confirming his fears AI could replace him, the bot spat out a bland script filled with regurgitated plot points, nothing close to the original horrors he’s been cranking out for six seasons. His experiment with ChatGPT showed him some redundancies in his own work and gave him inspiration for future episodes.
“As it carries on, you go, ‘Oh, this is boring. I was frightened a sec ago, now I’m bored because this is so derivative,” said Brooker. “It’s just emulating something. It’s Hoovered up every description of every Black Mirror episode, presumably from Wikipedia and other things that people have written, and it’s just sort of vomiting that back at me. It’s pretending to be something it isn’t capable of being.”
Brooker is not the first to experiment with AI when writing a script. Last December, 28 Squared Studios and Moon Ventures debuted The Safe Zone, the first movie ever written and directed by AI. The short dystopic sci-fi film is written and directed by ChatGPT. It follows a trio of siblings trying to reach the Safe Zone, the only place they can escape the threat of artificial intelligence taking over the world.
The use of AI in entertainment was one of the driving factors behind the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes this summer. Actors and writers are concerned about being replaced or having their likeness or writing used without consent, as seen in the season six opening episode of Black Mirror, “Joan is Awful.”
But Booker remains optimistic about human’s firm role in entertainment, deeming AI technology too limited to create imaginative storylines and mind bending plot twists.
“I can’t quite see it replacing messy people,” he said.
Netflix declined to comment on how the company plans to implement AI into its operations responsibly.