ChatGPT is 'shit' at writing Black Mirror episodes, says creator Charlie Brooker

Brooker says he 'toyed around' with the chatbot to write a Black Mirror episode.
Sejal Sharma
Charlie Brooker
Charlie Brooker

Joe Maher/BAFTA/Getty 

The latest season (6) of Netflix’s Black Mirror is one of the most binge-worthy series on the internet today. It will also give you the creeps. 

The episodes are often set in dystopian or utopian themes and bring an interesting albeit twisted perspective to social, cultural, and political issues, like how the first episode of the latest season is a scary reminder of why we should read the lengthy terms and conditions that pop up before we use an app or a website.

Can ChatGPT write a script?

Because in many episodes, the subject revolves around technology and humans, show creator Charlie Brooker ‘toyed around’ with ChatGPT to write a Black Mirror episode. "The first thing I did was type 'generate Black Mirror episode,' and it comes up with something that, at first glance, reads plausibly, but on second glance, is shit,” said Brookers in an interview with Empire.

Brooker, who has been doing promotions for the new season, often takes the no-holds-barred approach. In a recent interview with Sky News, when asked if politicians are doing enough to stay ahead of the AI curve, he jibed the UK Prime Minister: “If Rishi Sunak had been replaced by AI, I probably wouldn’t have noticed.”

Not giving Brooker any ideas, but that the script was ‘shit’ could be an episode in itself. “Because all it’s done is look up all the synopses of Black Mirror episodes and sort of mush them together. Then if you dig a bit more deeply, you go, 'Oh, there’s not actually any real original thought here.' It’s [1970s impressionist] Mike Yarwood — there’s a topical reference,” he continued.

Anti-AI sentiment across industry

Jeremy Strong, the actor who portrayed the role of Kendall Roy in the popular TV series Succession, echoed Brooker’s stance on incorporating AI with scriptwriting. "AI ain't gonna write Succession, Chinatown, or The Godfather. It's just not going to," he said in an interview with The Times. He was also speaking in solidarity with the ongoing global writers’ strike,, which has stopped the film industry.

Apart from low pay, another critical point of contention between the industry and writers is the growing concern over the use of AI in the storytelling process.

At a protest in London, where Strong was also present, Brookers told Variety, “As a writer I’m here to show my support. I worry for a living, and I’m very worried about AI and the use of ChatGPT and things like that so that’s a particular concern to me so that’s why I’m here.”

The writers’ strike has been picking up pace since it began in early May. The protest has gathered a global momentum, with events taking place in Los Angeles, Paris, and London daily. Only time will tell if Hollywood’s biggest producers bow down to the mounting pressure.

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