AI Writes the First Screenplay for a Short Movie – Sunspring

Artificial intelligence, AI, can be considered to be the most important technological innovation in recent years. As technology progresses, AI becomes more and more involved in our lives. Scientists are trying to create artificial intelligence objects with various human skills and abilities. They are using AI in cooking, art, board games, poetry, etc. Recently, AI was used in screenwriting as well, and the first screenplay ever written by AI was made. How was the screenplay made? What does it look like? What are the consequences of AI writing a screenplay? These are the questions that we will try to answer in the following paragraphs.


The first question we will try to answer is how AI created the screenplay in the first place. Ross Goodwin, an AI researcher, created a recurrent neural network called Benjamin with the help of Oscar Sharp, the director. Benjamin was given many scripts of science fiction movies. There were some classics such as Ghostbusters, the Fifth Element and others among them. AI had the task to create a new screenplay for a short movie on the basis of the given scripts. The algorithm which Benjamin has can process as many as dozens screenplays. The screenplay did not include just the plot, but also the actor directions. The result was a completely new screenplay for a short movie called Sunspring.


The screenplay for Sunspring was given to Thomas Middleditch, Elisabeth Gray and Humphrey Ker to interpret it. The cast interpreted the screenplay and created a movie. What does the movie look like? The movie cannot be compared to a movie written by a human being. The sentences put together are weird and not connected to each other. On their own, the sentences seem to have the meaning, but when put into a context, they are meaningless. One may say that it is nearly gibberish. The movie is a dark sci-fi story of love. It is an entertaining story, but it is far from a good movie. The actors did a good job, however, the script obviously misses human creativity.


What is the result of creating the first AI screenplay? Even though the software was very good and both Oscar Sharp and Ross Goodwin did a great job, the software could not create a unique and meaningful screenplay. The software was given the best sci-fi movies as the basis, however, the result was almost incoherent gibberish. This means that screenplay writers should not be worried because they cannot be replaced for now. This kind of creative work still cannot be done by AI. They still need to create an AI that can write amazing screenplays.

So, despite what the media is saying, there is a lot of work that has to be done in order to create an algorithm which can process scripts and create new and meaningful ones. We are left to wait for a new AI screenplay.