This Hilarious Short Film Was Literally Written By A Robot
How long is it until the machines take over?
Between a Fifty Shades chat bot begging for selfies on Facebook, and Netflix (nearly always) recommending the right movie for your mood, AI is no longer a tired old sci-fi cliché - it is 2017% reality.
Well, when Ross Goodwin and Oscar Sharp developed a computer (Benjamin) that was able to digest thousands of words, and create bespoke autocorrect suggestions, they had just one question: what kind of movie would this robot write if they fed it a tonne of Hollywood scripts? Sunspring, starring Silicon Valley's Thomas Middleditch, was the result.
Speaking to Vice Australia, Benjamin's daddy, Ross, said: "When [these machines] start training they are literally spitting out just random sequences of letters, trying to make a word. Then, over time—over the course of about a week—they learn what valid words are, how to string words together into sentences, and then how to string sentences together into coherent dialogue that makes sense for short periods."
"Sunspring is not total nonsense, actors were able to memorise those lines. It bears some resemblance at least to what we see in films generally. It's just a little weirder, I guess."
Their second short film, It's No Game (starring David Hasselhoff, obviously), just won bronze at the Sci-Fi-London 48-hour-film festival. That's a film festival where entrants have to make a sci-fi short film in 48 hours, by the way. Oh, and it's based in London.
Asked whether robots like Benjamin are destined to put human writers out of a job, Ross reckons we're not too far off.
"I don't think anyone wants to see machines totally replace humans in creative pursuits, I think you want to see machines aid humans in creative pursuits," he said. "I can totally see a machine helping a human write best original screenplay. I mean, I think the fact that we've won an award this year with It's No Game is testament to that future being quite likely."
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