A friend of mine posted this on Facebook the other day: “I’m glad I’m an underemployed, intellectual artist type. It’s one of the few jobs the robots can’t take.”
Little did she know, however, that that might not longer be true. Artificial Intelligence has been used to create pieces of art and poems, recipes and board games. But recently, for the first time, AI was used to write a screenplay.
Created by researches at NYU, the AI bot, named Benjamin1
, was fed dozens of science fiction scripts before being asked to write its own, including both dialogue and actor directions. The finished product is 9 minutes long and was unveiled at the Sci-Fi London Film Festival.
When you watch this short film
, you’ll notice that although the lines make sense taken in isolation, the dialogue in its entirety doesn’t exactly jive. In fact, this AI script should make you realize how talented screenwriters are—it takes a lot of creativity, feeling, and intelligence to write a good script. But does it take humanity?
Though this short film would never win a Cannes award, it is the first AI screenwriting test that’s ever been actualized; it’s likely that AI-created productions in the future will only improve, possibly working their way up the ranks of modern-day cinema one rotten tomato at a time.
We’ve long know that certain jobs will soon replace humans with robots, but I never expected those jobs to be in artistic creation—an area that seems to sprout from human feeling and emotion. Does it need to, though? If an AI bot, incapable of feeling emotions, created a work of art, could it still be considered a work of art?
If it could, then perhaps even the starving artists among us might one-day be replaced by robots. Well, without the starving part.
1. This is an oddly human name to me. It reminds me of when people bequeath too-human names to their dogs, such as “David” or “Emily.” That’s so weird, right? Like, almost a little bit cringe-worthy. Naming this robot “Benjamin” seems equally odd to me for some reason.