Watch a Sci-Fi Film Written by Artificial Intelligence

Hollywood blockbusters are often criticized for being formulaic, but this year’s summer hits have nothing on Sunspring, a sci-fi film entirely devoted to formula. The short movie, which made its online debut on Ars Technica yesterday, was written by artificial intelligence trained on science fiction screenplays—everything from Blade Runner (1982) to Cowboys & Aliens (2011). Filmmaker Oscar Sharp and machine learning researcher Ross Goodwin created the LSTM (long short-term memory) neural network named Benjamin (its own choice) over the course of a year. Once the network was up and running, Benjamin wrote the script based on just a few prompts, including one line of dialogue and an idea for a future where mass unemployment leads young people to sell their own blood. Benjamin spit out a sometimes incomprehensible script,…

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