Charlie Brooker, the creator of the popular dystopian sci-fi series Black Mirror, expressed his reservations about artificial intelligence (AI) taking over creative roles despite its growing presence in various industries.
While AI has started replacing some jobs, Brooker seems less concerned about his own position in the industry because, in his view, each time a new technology threatens societal fabric, it inspires new Black Mirror episodes.
“I said to ChatGPT, ‘Go give me an outline for a Black Mirror story,’” Brooker said (via The Guardian). “As it’s coming through in the first couple of sentences, you feel a cold spike of fear, like animal terror, like I’m being fucking replaced. I’m not even gonna see what it does. I’m gonna jump out the fucking window.”
However, he found AI, like ChatGPT, to be unsatisfactory in generating compelling and original horror scenarios. According to him, AI is derivative, producing uninspiring content by rearranging existing information from the internet.
Brooker wasn’t experiencing his own Black Mirror moment, where a computer designed to help humanity ends up destroying it. Instead, he discovered that AI isn’t that good at creative tasks. “As it carries on, you go, ‘Oh, this is boring. I was frightened a second ago; now I’m bored because this is so derivative.’”
Brooker’s critique is that AI is essentially a “plagiarism machine” and a word predictor that lacks the capability to create innovative and engaging content. While AI can mimic existing material, it falls short of true creativity and originality.
He believes that AI struggles to replace the messy, complex, and imaginative nature of human creators who generate good art. This perspective implies that AI lacks the capacity to replicate the depth of human experience and creativity.
“It’s just emulating something. It’s Hoovered up every description of every Black Mirror episode, presumably from Wikipedia and other things that people have written, and it’s just sort of vomiting that back at me. It’s pretending to be something it isn’t capable of being.”
Despite Brooker’s skepticism about AI’s creative limitations, the company responsible for producing Black Mirror has been heavily investing in AI technology. This suggests that AI has its proponents who see its potential and are willing to explore its capabilities further. The presence of job listings for AI product managers with substantial salaries on platforms like Netflix also indicates a growing interest in AI-driven content creation.