The ‘Black Mirror’ Creator Used ChatGPT To Write An Episode, And It Did Not Go Well

Black Mirror has taken every fear or anxiety you have about technology and the future and expertly enhanced that fear to the point where you feel as though your computer might be trying to kill you by chipping away at your emotional well-being. It’s great entertainment, though!

Showrunner Charlie Brooker decided to try the most Black Mirror thing ever while writing season six of the popular anthology series by handing over the writing responsibility to someone we all know and love — the internet.

“I’ve toyed around with ChatGPT a bit,” Brooker told Empire. ChatGPT, in case you haven’t been keeping up, is an AI chatbot that can generate text based on a specific prompt. It could even write blogs, but they will never be as funny as us real humans.

Brooker continued, “The first thing I did was type ‘generate Black Mirror episode’ and it comes up with something that, at first glance, reads plausibly, but on second glance, is sh*t. Because all it’s done is look up all the synopses of Black Mirror episodes, and sort of mush them together. Then if you dig a bit more deeply you go, ‘Oh, there’s not actually any real original thought here.’ It’s [1970s impressionist] Mike Yarwood — there’s a topical reference.” Brooker explained. With Mike Yarwood you never quite know what you’re going to get, so this checks out when it comes to AI content.

Even though we won’t get a ChatGPT episode, Brooker says that it was a great lesson in how not to write TV. “I was aware that I had written lots of episodes where someone goes ‘Oh, I was inside a computer the whole time!’ So I thought, ‘I’m just going to chuck out any sense of what I think a Black Mirror episode is.'” Brooker also promised that the upcoming season six of the series will be just as unexpected as the groundbreaking seasons before it. “There’s no point in having an anthology show if you can’t break your own rules. Just a sort of nice, cold glass of water in the face.”

Though it might not work narratively, an AI-generated episode of Black Mirror would be a nice little experiment. It would also probably prove to everyone just how important TV writers are, which seems to be a hot topic at the moment. Robots don’t know how to write peak TV. They just wouldn’t know what to do with all of those cowboy hats.

Season six of Black Mirror will debut on Netflix on June 15th.

(Via Empire)