June 18, 2024


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A new artificial intelligence service allows viewers to create TV shows.  Are we doomed?  |  the television

A new artificial intelligence service allows viewers to create TV shows. Are we doomed? | the television

HeyOne of the basic strategies for streaming services is to keep you in front of the screen for as long as possible. Once an episode of the show you're watching ends, the next episode automatically appears. But this approach has its limitations. After all, when a series ends, Netflix will automatically try to launch another series that it thinks you'll like, but its success rate is terrible. Maybe the tone of the proposed offer is wrong, or maybe it's just too cumbersome to be thrown into the sea of ​​exposure that the new offer brings. Maybe it's just too disturbing to be pulled from one world and thrown straight into another without any breathing room.

Do you know what would fix that? If Netflix gives you the opportunity to automatically create a new episode of the show you were already watching. You'll be there forever, won't you? It would be great. Ladies and gentlemen, you will be thrilled to know that this amazing technology now exists.

This week a company called Fable Studio announced its launch bidder, the world's first AI-generated streaming service. With just a few words, Showrunner promises to let viewers write, voice, and animate their own TV episodes.

Users who sign up for the Showrunner waitlist will eventually be able to watch 10 animated shows. One of them, Ikiru Shino, has been described as a dark horror anime. Another, Sim Francisco, is an anthology show about the people who live in the titular city. Then there's Exit Valley, a South Park-style spoof of Silicon Valley. Users can watch episodes, or create their own by typing prompts that will be generated into scenes that can be stitched together into full episodes. For example, you could watch Exit Valley and then write “The characters in his satire about the entertainment industry learn they're part of an AI-generated content engine specifically designed to destroy the entertainment industry, and the satire blows their heads off,” and that's what the next episode will be.

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The service is not entirely free of precedent. Last year, Fable released an AI-generated episode of South Park, which, if you weren't watching closely, was rather convincing. Of course, the minute I started paying attention, the whole thing became a living nightmare. The jokes were bad, the voices were wrong, and everyone was talking in an empty voice that sounded like someone who had recently been brainwashed to kill you in your sleep. But it's early days. As we've seen with each successive release of ChatGPT, AI can improve at an alarming pace. Before long, Fable might be able to produce a really good South Park episode, and then we'll all be in trouble.

Obviously this can go one of two ways. The biggest fear — and the thing that basically caused all the strikes in Hollywood last year — is that even if Showrunner doesn't achieve mainstream success, the entertainment industry will exploit this technology wholesale. It will be slow at first: the studio might use it to create movie plots, which can then be perfected by the human experts at their disposal. But this could gradually decline, until the entertainment industry consists of three or four CEOs who write AI claims like “dinosaur attacks girl with big boobs” and keep all the revenue for themselves.

However, based on current evidence, this is unlikely to happen yet. The way it looks now, Showrunner has an unmistakably new vibe. A large number of people will initially use it to create a bunch of low-quality videos that will turn the platform into an inexplicably less human TikTok or a Quibi that's not exactly embarrassing to say out loud. My theory is that everyone will create their own episodes at first, and try to share them, but no one else will watch them because they're watching episodes they created themselves, and then everyone will get bored because what's the point in making something just for the sake of it. yourself? The build bar is set too low. People will lose interest quickly.

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This may be a good thing. God knows the film industry needs all the help it can get right now. Maybe Showrunner exists as a reminder that robots are worse than us at making things. If that doesn't push us back into the mainstream, nothing will.