Strike! Hollywood Writers Are Up in Arms About AI Writing Their Scripts

Actors mad, too

They should be up in arms.

My team at the Literary Lab reports that, for 98.25% of all films, the audience wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between human and AI generated work.

Sequence of scenes, dialogue, stuff blowing up—bad writers and bad AI give you pretty much the same thing.

But AI could turn out another Jurassic Park or Spiderman in 4 minutes. The whole script. That’s the rub.

And soon, when AI can invent actors and backgrounds flawlessly, it’s over. It’ll take maybe 6 or 7 hours to deliver a finished film. From scratch.

If studio execs watch it and don’t like it, they can go out for a long lunch and come back and AI will have an alternate version ready.

The only remaining question is: will the audience care how the movie is made? Will they care that the actors are all synthetic non-humans?

Over time, I think most objections will fade away. Real actors will still get work—once in a blue moon. In special events called: “here’s a movie as movies were once made.”

“Wow. Can you believe they used real people? So weird. I gotta go see that.”

By that time, AI will have replaced the need for humans in many industries.

“Tell MARCO, or whatever the chef’s name is this week, to cook me a new steak. This one tastes like dry cardboard, JEEVES.”

“Very sorry, sir. The bio-reactor at our factory must have created the wrong protein. Again. Would you like to try the shark fin from Lake Baikal in Russia? The sharks were created and weaponized by DARPA. They’re helping us win the war in the Ukraine.”

Hollywood has already turned into pseudo research facilities. Producers are only interested in evoking reactions from audiences.

As in: stimulus-response. Any resemblance to art is purely accidental.

AI can create as many car chases and people hanging off the edges of cliffs and explosions as deemed necessary. Right now.

Moving to total AI will be easy as pie.

This is where schools are heading, too. AI lessons will be shaped to produce a favorable response to pre-selected themes, such as gender fluidity.

By the time a child is a card carrying adult, he’ll be conditioned to expect AI films and AI generated answers to questions across the broadest possible spectrum.

—Two studio execs chatting:

“You know, Marty, we’ve released 51 films in the past 16 years on the theme of father’s daughter kidnapped, and he wreaks revenge on the bad guys and rescues her. Our data show the audience reaction is wearing out.”

“Why don’t we go the other way? Dinosaurs are doing the kidnapping and raising the kids as their own. They’re the good guys. The parents who are attacking the dinos are the evildoers.”

“We can run some tests and see how people respond. Model a dino hero. All powerful but empathetic. He eats anything that moves, but he’s psychologically vulnerable. He weeps at others’ misfortunes…”

This Pavlovian approach really took off after WW2. Corporations expanded their marketing and advertising departments. They realized they could sell almost any piece of crap, as long as they marketed it with a story that hit the target audience in the solar plexus and the acquisitive molecules of the brain.

“Let’s market trucks that make weak men feel strong.”

“You mean they don’t make a living with the trucks?”

“They make a living sitting in offices obeying orders. But they’ll want to wear boots and drive pickups and drink beer.”

“Genius. Pure genius.”

“They’ll want to get into bar fights. But they can’t. That’s where movies come in.”

It was all downhill from there.

AI will just make art into percentages and numbers. Audience share becomes the basic theme of every piece of fiction, before story line, before character.

AI will work backwards, from predictive models of success.

“Hello, AI?”

“Yes, sir?”

“Give me a movie that brings about a 92% favorable audience rating. The other 8% grouses and complains and produces free publicity for us.”

“On it. Stand by.”

Reprinted with permission from JonRappoport.substack.