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Black Mirror creator experimented with ChatGPT, wasn’t impressed


Charlie Brooker, creator of the cult Netflix show Black Mirror, has always been keen to try out new things in the anthology. Unsurprisingly, right before Season 6 hits our screens, he’s revealed that he once toyed with ChatGPT, a viral AI-powered bot.

It’s safe to say that AI could quite easily write an episode of a basic TV show. But Black Mirror? Killer robot dogs or bees, evil apps, innovative punitive mechanisms…it seems impossible that ChatGPT or any other generative chatbot could construct anything as imaginative and entertaining as this. At least for now, anyway.

But Brooker said recently in an interview with Empire, a British film magazine, that he decided to give AI a try and find out what an Chat GPT-written episode of the show would look like. The verdict was clear, Brooker admitted – it’s shit.

"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 shit. Because all it’s done is look up all the synopses of Black Mirror episodes, and sort of mush them together,” remembered Brooker.

In the interview, he says he found that the new AI-based tech was teaching him what not to do in the future – in other words, to be less predictable.

However, even before the interview in Empire was published, Brooker logged into his Twitter account to rant about the headline in The Independent, a British daily, that published a story based on the original interview. The headline claimed: “Charlie Brooker used ChatGPT to write a Black Mirror episode.”

“Ironically, this is precisely the sort of thing you’d get if you fed the original interview into ChatGPT and asked it to generate a wilfully misleading clickbait headline,” Brooker tweeted.

He also ridiculed the idea that the experiment allegedly changed his attitude towards writing new episodes of Black Mirror. In another tweet, Brooker said that Season 6 of the show was wrapped up by October 2022 – a full month before OpenAI even launched ChatGPT.

OpenAI is now valued at nearly $30 billion. The ChatGPT user count reached 173 million users in April, and OpenAI’s website saw its traffic soar in March towards the coveted billion mark for unique monthly visitors.

Black Mirror fans worldwide have been wondering whether generative chatbots will be mocked in the new batch of episodes which is dropping on June 15th. Cybernews journalists have recently discussed the show in a special podcast episode, too.

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