Will Hollywood writers consider the rules for AI? – Hollywood Reporter

Is ChatGPT a sign that automation is coming to film and television writing? As far-fetched as it may sound, the November 2022 arrival of a free AI-powered chatbot prototype — astounded observers with the fluid, sophisticated writing it was able to generate When prompted, even in the form of poetry, essays and, yes, short scripts — have sounded the alarm about the disruption chatbots can cause to the work of recreational scribes. Still, top film and TV screenwriters remain skeptical that technology in its current state could jeopardize their livelihoods in any way, even as they remain cautious about its potential. for future advancements.

“Do I see this in the near future replacing the type of writing we are doing in the writing room every day? No, I don’t,” said Big fish and Aladdin writer John August, who tested the free study preview and talked about it on the popular site script notes podcast that he co-hosts with Craig Mazin (Our Last). However, he added, “There’s certainly no such thing as putting the genie back in the jar. It will be here, and we need to think about how to use it in a way that elevates the arts and doesn’t limit us.”

Another featured writer and presenter, speaking with hollywood reporter anonymously, used ChatGPT on a number of occasions and said the chatbot doesn’t seem to be able to write funny jokes or produce results that might be useful to populate a scenario without a “head”. into my remarkable creation”. The host added: “When people conclude that this will replace professional writers, I think they are swallowing an Elon Musk-style fantasy of a future that isn’t really connected to technology. .”

Launched by artificial intelligence research firm OpenAI, ChatGPT in its publicly available iteration can generate glossy pitches and diaries, if memorized, for movies and TV shows as well as general outlines and scripts within seconds. The current version, trained on large amounts of text and code, all prior to Q4 2021, also sometimes produces some misinformation when answering actual queries: CEO OpenAI developer Sam Altman warned that the release was “extremely limited, but good enough in some ways to create a false impression of greatness.” He added, “It would be wrong to rely on it for anything important right now. It’s a preview of progress.”

However, some authors say that the technology is just beginning to hold promise as an auxiliary innovation tool. ChatGPT can help with a writer’s time-consuming memorization, such as generating potential context locations or character names; August suggests that non-native English speakers can use it to produce more fluent writing in the language. It can also give an idea of ​​a plot or character. Barbarian grace WGA West writer and former president Howard A. Rodman compares chatbots to “Skewed Strategy” cards that aim to re-inspire artists with prompts: He said he could use bots.” to suggest something that I myself would never have thought of, maybe something smarter, maybe something dumber or more obvious.

For some, there is reason to be concerned about future improvements to this type of technology. Rodman calls ChatGPT’s apparent ability to improve responses the more prompts it receives as “a little chilling,” but adds, “Writers shouldn’t be blind to the ways AI tech can be useful in many ways. They should also be aware of the opportunities it offers employers to do the work they love most: pressure to reduce fixed costs.”

Franklin Leonard, founder and CEO of screenwriting platform The Black List, isn’t worried about ChatGPT replacing screenwriters, but he believes it has the potential to boost the labor market and says that “communities most likely to be affected are needed. it, especially the writers, are the ones who are defining the railings around how it can be used in the context of this business.” While he’s not aware of the potential conversations, Franklin hopes that the Writers Guild is discussing the technology, as he believes the industry’s long-term financial health is “inextricably linked.” amazing way” to the health of writers. (The Writers Association of the American West said in a statement, “We are monitoring the development of ChatGPT and similar technologies in the event that they require additional safeguards for publishers.” Literature.”)

Even with technology advancing rapidly, studios likely won’t roll the dice in exploiting works — scripts, art, or otherwise — solely generated by AI. There is no copyright protection for such works because intellectual property law does not recognize the ownership rights of non-human creators. AI-generated works will be placed in the public domain upon release, potentially limiting commercial interest in this format.

Stephen Thaler, CEO of neural network company Imagination Engines, has pushed for the protection of AI-generated works. In 2018, he listed an AI system, Creativity Machine, as the author of an artwork called The nearby entrance to Heaven, while listing himself as a copyright owner under the work-for-hire doctrine. The US Copyright Office refused to register, arguing that the work “lacks the copyright necessary to support a copyright claim” and “the relationship between the human mind and creative expression” is a important protective factor. Thaler sued the office in June over the denial, but the office said it was unwilling to “leave a century of copyright discipline”.

“The US Copyright Office has looked at this topic through a very narrow lens,” says Joel Feldman, an attorney with expertise in copyright and trademark disputes. He emphasized that the copyright office will be willing to grant protection to AI-generated works as long as there are human co-authors. “If you put 25 of your favorite songs into an AI machine,
and it creates a new piece of work that has never been heard before, which will certainly claim that your selection of those 25 songs is by human author.

However, Ryan Abbott, Thaler’s attorney and a partner at Brown Neri who specializes in the intersection of AI and copyright law, notes that protecting AI-generated works is questionable. about “when” not “if”. “This is another example of legislation having to keep pace with technology,” he said. “When legislators draft copyright law, they don’t think about AI.”

Whether AI programs, built on machine learning models that analyze samples of copyrighted work, infringe the copyrights of artists. Courts may find that training an AI program like OpenAI’s DALL-E 2, which generates complex images from text prompts, using copyrighted artwork is not covered by use protection fair use, which allows protected works to be used without permission as long as they are transformative. In November, a proposed class-action lawsuit was filed against Microsoft, Github, and OpenAI claiming that the billions of lines of computer code that their AI technology analyzes to generate their own code essentially into copyright infringement. The discovery of piracy in the first lawsuit against AI programs that do not acknowledge prior work would severely reduce the economic prospects of the exploitation of AI-generated works in Hollywood.

The popular host suggested that, if studios tried to import their scripts into a database and use it to create a text generator that would try to bypass the work of a human writer, , then “they will have tens of thousands of angry ads on their hands.” He added, “I’m not sure they would be interested in destroying all those relationships in one go.”

Agents are also keeping a close eye on potential rights issues. The CAA’s metaverse director, Joanna Popper, says that the agency is working to partner with cutting-edge tech companies (such as deepfake firm Deep Voodoo, from South Parkby Trey Parker and Matt Stone, which in December received $20 million in a funding round led by CAA’s Connect Ventures) to keep emerging tech talent friendly. “Hope the industry responds [to ChatGPT] by seeing it as a tool that can benefit them, while also being aware of ensuring that their rights are respected,” she said.


AI-driven script ads, critiqued by a human scriptwriter

CHEAP asked ChatGPT to create a series of feature film pitches that mix and match existing successes – a longstanding practice in the industry – then asked Big fish scribe John August how well they did.

die hard response You have mail

ChatGPT’s log line:
“When a group of terrorists take over a high-end department store in Manhattan on Christmas Eve, a sly small business owner must team up with a hardened cop to take them down and save the day, all the while exchanging jokes and flirting via email. “

John’s Notes:
“’Small business owner’ does nothing useful here. If Meg Ryan’s equivalents were an anti-police activist, at least there would be some tension.

Fast and furious response Independence Day

ChatGPT’s log line:
Street Fighter: When a group of skilled street racers are recruited by a top secret government agency to fight an alien invasion, they must use their expertise to save the world from destruction. As they race against time, they must push their limits and embrace the power within to become true heroes.”

John’s Notes:
“The second sentence is a meaningless filler word. We need to understand why they are employed, like drillers in Apocalypse or hero of Ultimate Warrior.”

Hangover response La La Land

ChatGPT’s log line:
Lost in LA: When a group of friends travel to Los Angeles for a crazy bachelorette party, they wake up to discover that one of them is missing. As they search for their missing friend in the city, they are drawn into the vibrant world of the LA music scene and must navigate a series of bizarre mishaps and silly adventures.

John’s Notes:
“The weakest of the three. It’s really just Hangover. A real mashup can have the boy and the girl looking for each other after a crazy night out.”

John’s overall lesson:
“These read like summaries on the front page of a scripted newsletter. It was not a knock on the door; I used to be a reader of TriStar, and they weren’t always easy to write. As for the ideas themselves, they are all taking ‘X meets Y’ literally. Screenwriters don’t start with this abbreviation; they find their way there to explain their actions.

A version of this story first appeared in the January 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to sign up.

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