Human beings are — at least compared to most other organisms on the planet save maybe the octopus — incredibly complex beings. And thank heavens for that. Because otherwise, writers would be out of a job.
At SXS Sydney, Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker voiced his lack of concern over being replaced by artificial intelligence since he tried it and wasn’t impressed.
Brooker related an anecdote about tasking ChatGPT, the popular chatbot threatening to T-1000 us in the not-so-distant future, to write a script for his Emmy-winning Netflix sci-fi anthology series.
While reading the first few sentences he was shaking in his boots that he could be so easily replaced. But as it went on, he realized he had nothing to worry about. Computers aren’t as f—ed up as people!
“It’s just emulating something,” Brooker said. “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.”
He added, “But I can’t quite see it replacing messy people.”
The English writer and producer had previously mentioned his brief flirtation with AI when writing Black Mirror, noting that “at first glance” the script read “plausibly,” but on second glance, it was “s—.”
Brooker admits, however, that artificial intelligence is here to stay and that it has its benefits — the WGA agrees, having negotiated limits and best practices when using AI as part of its deal to end the writers’ strike. Still, perhaps Brooker is underestimating our future overlords.
Sure, AI might not be as complex and messy as human beings, and probably never will be, but what if people just stop being so darn complicated? What if AI dumbs and dulls us down to the point we don’t care anymore how good or engaging are the things we’re consuming? How many Love Islands can the human race possibly withstand before it’s too late?!