‘Black Mirror’ Creator Charlie Brooker Slams ChatGPT for Generating Terrible Episode | “On Second Glance, It’s SH*T”
Black Mirror creator, Charlie Brooker recently expressed his disappointment with ChatGPT, the popular language model developed by OpenAI after attempting to use it to generate an episode for the show. Black Mirror burst onto the scene in 2011 with its grotesquely absurd yet alarmingly realistic premise and it has gained a significant following due to its ability to tap into technological trends and predict their potential dark consequences. Brooker, as the showrunner, has exhibited a remarkable ability to stay attuned to technological trends and has even predicted real-world innovations, per BroBible. Consequently, hopes for the upcoming sixth season, set to release on Netflix on June 15, 2023 are exceptionally high.
Amidst the hype surrounding AI and its potential to reshape various industries, including creative fields, Brooker decided to test ChatGPT's capabilities. While acknowledging the concerns of AI evangelists who argue that such technologies could render certain occupations obsolete, Brooker was surprised to discover that the "Learn to Code" crowd might not be the only ones facing an existential threat. In fact, he found that the creative minds behind Black Mirror are relatively safe for the time being.
During an interview with Empire, Brooker shared his experience with ChatGPT. He revealed that he asked the language model to generate a Black Mirror episode, hoping to witness its creative potential. However, the result fell short of his expectations. “I’ve toyed around with ChatGPT a bit,” Brooker said. “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.” The encounter highlighted the fundamental issue with AI language models like ChatGPT—they lack the ability to produce truly unique and innovative ideas.
Brooker's disappointment with ChatGPT echoes the concerns raised by many critics of AI-generated content. While these models excel at processing and regurgitating vast amounts of existing information, their ability to generate novel and imaginative concepts remains limited. This limitation is a consequence of their training on data produced by human authors, essentially resulting in the replication or amalgamation of existing ideas.
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Brooker's encounter with ChatGPT was insightful in one way, however. He elaborated, "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.' 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," Brooker said, per Empire.
The field of AI is evolving rapidly, and language models like ChatGPT are constantly being refined. However, as of now, the creative genius of human writers, like Brooker, cannot be easily replaced. The intricacies of storytelling, the ability to delve into the human psyche and the creation of truly original and thought-provoking narratives remain firmly within the realm of human ingenuity. As Black Mirror fans eagerly await the sixth season, they can rest assured that the show's distinct and unsettling vision of the future will continue to originate from minds like Charlie Brooker. The upcoming five-episode season includes actors such as Salma Hayek Pinault, Michael Cera, and Zazie Beetz, and the first episode will be called Joan is Awful, according to Business Insider.