How Machine-Generated Screenplays May Affect Artists

Earlier this month, director Oscar Sharp released his comedic sci-fi short film Sunspring. Business as usual, except it was a computer named Benjamin that generated the screenplay. Chasing the heels of Google’s Magenta artificial intelligence art projects, Benjamin’s text embodies a rapidly growing trend in the artificial intelligence community where machinery and artistry have become disputably synonymous. Sunspring stars Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch as the gold-clad and thoroughly perplexed character, H. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” an exacerbated H repeatedly pleads throughout the short. The line resonates with the audience, as the screenplay is humorously indecipherable. Ross Goodwin, an AI researcher at NYU who wrote Benjamin’s algorithm, found the script to be perplexing but surprisingly readable. The project began late March after Sharp provided voiceover work for a…

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