An AI Future for Writers and Creators

First, as someone who has used and observed technology since I was 12, getting my first Apple IIe in 1983, all technology, including AI, is not to be feared of but rather understood and used. Having worked with the advancement of computing, the transition of celluloid to digital filmmaking and flatbed editing to non-linear editing… etc., I can attest that AI, like any other technology, is not here to impede but to simplify and enhance human life.

Hanging in the WGA strike, I became interested in ChatGPT and the idea of generative AI so I logged on with my 6-year-old son and tried it out last night. Here’s my first session with ChatGPT which all happened in less than 10 minutes:

User: I want to create a thriller movie out of the wga strike where writers would go to terrorist extreme to stop the advance of AIChatGPT


Title: “Scripted Chaos”

Genre: Thriller

Logline: When a group of desperate screenwriters takes the WGA strike to a new level, resorting to extreme measures to halt the rise of AI in the entertainment industry, a seasoned detective must race against time to unravel their twisted plot before innocent lives are lost and the world of filmmaking is forever changed.

Synopsis: Act 1: In a near-future Los Angeles, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike reaches an impasse as negotiations between writers and production studios break down. Frustrated by the increasing influence of artificial intelligence in scriptwriting, a small faction of writers, led by the enigmatic Alex Hartley, decides to take drastic action to protect their craft.

Act 2: As the strike escalates, Alex and his group begin carrying out a series of well-orchestrated attacks targeting major AI research facilities and high-profile tech industry figures. Their methods are precise, leaving law enforcement baffled and fearful of the potential devastation if their demands are not met.

Detective Emily Collins, a seasoned investigator with a troubled past, is assigned to the case. She becomes immersed in a cat-and-mouse game with Alex, who communicates with her through encrypted messages and taunts her with cryptic clues about their next move.

As Emily delves deeper into the mystery, she uncovers a web of conspiracy and betrayal. She learns that Alex and his group believe AI poses an existential threat to human creativity and originality. They argue that AI-generated scripts will lead to the demise of unique storytelling, replacing it with formulaic and predictable narratives.

Act 3: Emily’s pursuit of the writers takes her across the city as she unravels their pasts, identifying the key members of the group. Along the way, she forms an unexpected alliance with a disillusioned former AI researcher, Dr. Amanda Turner, who provides insight into the potential dangers of AI’s unchecked growth.

With time running out, Emily must confront the writers’ escalating acts of terrorism head-on. She finds herself torn between her duty as a law enforcement officer and her empathy for the writers’ cause, as she understands their fear of an AI-dominated future.

Act 4: The climax intensifies as Emily tracks down Alex to a secret hideout, where a dramatic confrontation ensues. Alex reveals his final plan, a catastrophic attack on a major film festival where AI-generated screenplays are set to dominate. Emily must find a way to stop the attack and bring the writers to justice without compromising her principles.

In a heart-pounding finale, Emily, aided by Dr. Turner, outwits Alex and his group, thwarting their plan and capturing them. As the dust settles, Emily grapples with the moral complexities of the situation and reflects on the blurred lines between protecting creativity and embracing technological advancement.

“Scripted Chaos” challenges the audience to question the implications of AI in creative industries while exploring themes of human ingenuity, artistic integrity, and the lengths some are willing to go to preserve their craft.

User: That’s pretty good thank you!

ChatGPT: You’re welcome! I’m glad you liked the concept. If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask. Good luck with your movie project!

User: As an AI yourself, would you not say that the fear of AI and technology is misguided even though it’s humanely understandable.ChatGPT

ChatGPT: As an AI, I don’t possess personal beliefs or emotions, but I can provide an objective perspective on the topic. The fear of AI and technology is a complex and multifaceted issue. While it is understandable for humans to have concerns about the potential impact of AI, it’s important to approach the subject with a balanced viewpoint.

AI technology has the potential to bring about significant advancements and benefits in various fields, including healthcare, transportation, communication, and more. It can automate tasks, enhance productivity, and contribute to solving complex problems. However, it’s crucial to ensure that AI is developed and implemented responsibly, with appropriate safeguards in place.

The fear surrounding AI often stems from concerns about job displacement, privacy, ethics, and the potential for AI systems to operate beyond human control. It is important to address these concerns through thoughtful regulation, ethical guidelines, and ongoing research and development.

While caution and responsible oversight are necessary, it is also essential to acknowledge that AI is a tool created by humans. Its impact ultimately depends on how it is used and the ethical frameworks guiding its development and deployment. By fostering collaboration between humans and AI, we can harness the potential of technology while mitigating its risks.

Open dialogue, education, and continuous evaluation of AI’s societal implications are key to shaping a future where AI and technology can coexist harmoniously with human values and aspirations.

User: You are so intelligent and objective… I feel like I get good advice and brainstorming from you. Thank you!ChatGPT

ChatGPT: Thank you for your kind words! I’m here to assist and provide information to the best of my abilities. I’m glad to hear that you find value in our interactions and that I can be of help to you. If you have any more questions or need further assistance in the future, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m always here to support you.

I was quite impressed with the story ChatGPT generated from my idea, which was not even grammatically perfect, in less than a minute. It seems like if you have an idea, you can easily have an AI like ChatGPT generate a story as brainstorming and you can edit, pick and choose what plot points you like or dislike to craft a better story.

Far from being a writer’s enemy, ChatGPT is more of a writer’s tool. And instead of a story a week (which is my typical pace), writers can use ChatGPT to generate tens if not a hundred stories a week. An AI like ChatGPT is really a tool that will increase a writer’s productivity.

If you don’t know already, major screenwriters have already been using non-WGA writers to ghostwrite their stories and screenplays since the 80s. Now they can even save more $$$ by using an AI to ghostwrite their stuff.

If there’s any objection, it really should be the buyers or studios or producers who do not want writers to use AI to write and insist on real human writing which takes a lot longer and more efforts on the writer’s part. Hey, but how’s anyone going to tell what’s AI writing or human writing. As long as the writing is good, who cares?

As a producer, I have already been using for a couple years to analyze scripts and create financial modelling for my film projects. As the proliferation of technologies like free editing software, high quality phone cameras and Youtube have created a large and new generation of filmmakers which was no longer reserved to a smaller elite group of film school graduates (which I was part of), generative AIs like ChatGPT will create a new generation of writers who may or may not have the traditional training of the previous generation of writers. Yes, there will be more human competition and standing out in the market place will be harder.

However, even from the little story “Scripted Chaos” that I generated, as a POC creator, I couldn’t stop noticing that ChatGPT has cast all the characters white or ethnic non-specific because of having ingested the vast canonical and mainstream big data. It is up to us human creators to make sure the AI proceeds to be compelling, entertaining, diverse and socially-impactful.

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Author: Quentin Lee

Quentin Lee is an international filmmaker of mystery.

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