TV’s War With the Robots Is Already Here

Those same writers may be able to use AI tools productively. The WGA wants guardrails, not bans. And as anyone who’s ever tried to get ChatGPT to tell a joke knows, AI’s immediate threat to writers’ careers may be overstated. (I’m a huge fan of cornball’s “why…” and “what do you call…” constructs.) Some speculation, like the director The Thoughts of Joe Russo That AI could one day create a romantic comedy featuring your avatar and Marilyn Monroe’s avatar. It’s like science fiction.

But science fiction has a way of becoming scientific fact. A year ago, ChatGPT was closed to the public. The last time the writers went on strike was in 2007, when his one of the issues involved streaming media. At the time, it was a niche business like iTunes downloads. Streaming is eating the industry today.

The potential rise of AI affects the workplace of writers, but it’s not just about labor issues. We too are in the fight against storybots. A culture that is entirely nourished by regurgitating existing ideas is stagnant. It takes invention, experimentation, and failure to move forward and evolve. The logical conclusion of an algorithmized “more like what we just saw” entertainment industry is pop culture that just… stops.

The day may come when AI will make real inventions. And what “invention” means to advanced AI may be different than what we are used to. At that point, there’s a whole debate we can have about what “creativity” really means and whether it’s limited to humans by definition.

But what we do know is that in this timeline, it’s a human skill to craft stories that surprise, challenge, frustrate, and discover ideas that didn’t exist before. Whether we care about it, whether we value it over an unlimited supply of reliable enough menu options is still our choice for now.

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