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Sunspring, a Sci-Fi Short Written by Artificial Intelligence Starring Thomas Middleditch


Ars Technica Videos shared a short film titled Sunspring directed by Oscar Sharp in collaboration with Ross Goodwin, who built “Benjamin” (previously named “Jetson”), the AI who wrote the screenplay. To make Benjamin, Goodwin (who’s credited as “writer of writer”) “fueled him with hundreds of sci-fi TV and movie scripts.” After 48 hours of shooting and editing, Sunspring was born.

While the premise seems very surreal and maybe a bit creepy, the result is really funny and the dedication of the actors to the lines makes the 9-minute film an entertaining, absurdist experience. Thomas Middleditch puking out an eyeball for no reason and then turning around and asking, “Then what?” is the absolute highlight of my day. In addition to the screenplay, Benjamin also wrote the lyrics for the song “Home on the Land,” which was gorgeously composed and performed by Tiger and Man.

The project made me think about The Day a Computer Writes a Novel, the Japanese AI co-authored novel that made headlines for passing the first round of a literary competition or the robot poetry of the animated short World of Tomorrow. It’s very cool to see the potential of AI continue to expand, and while it’s more entertaining in the short when the AI doesn’t make sense (kind of like the funniness of outsmarting a chatbot), it’ll be neat to how far AI will go creatively.

Of course, that’s not the most comforting thought. Daily Dot points out that while the incoherence of the lines makes the video more comedic than anything else (not unlike Bad Lip Reading videos), there are some dark lines in there (“In a future with mass unemployment, young people are forced to sell blood”).

What did you think about Sunspring?

(via Daily Dot)

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