Cinema dumps ChatGPT-written film after public backlash

In this post:

  • The Prince Charles Cinema dropped the screening of a film written entirely by ChatGPT.
  • People complained about “the use of AI in place of a [human] writer”.
  • AI has been a hot-button issue in Hollywood and elsewhere.

The Prince Charles Cinema dropped the private screening of a feature film written entirely by the AI chatbot, ChatGPT, after a public backlash. The London-based cinema planned to host the world premiere of The Last Screenwriter on June 23, but cancelled after people complained about “the use of AI in place of a [human] writer”.

Also read: Universal Music Group gives artists multilingual skills, thanks to AI

In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), the cinema said the decision to cancel the screening “is rooted in our passion for movies and listening to those who support what we do.” It comes as Hollywood and the creative arts sector are in a Catch-22 on what to do with AI technology.

‘AI equals plagiarism,’ users say

The Last Screenwriter was created by Swiss film producer Peter Luisi. The 62-minute movie follows the life of a celebrated screenwriter called Jack, who finds his world shaken when he encounters an advanced AI scriptwriting system.

At first, Jack is skeptical but soon realizes the AI outsmarts him in many things, including empathy and understanding of human emotions. Jack is unsure what to do, his pride getting the better of him. He also fears the AI will replace him. Eventually, Jack gets a chance to write a film solely with the AI program.

On Monday, the Prince Charles Cinema announced on social media that it would premiere the ChatGPT-generated drama on Sunday, June 23. The AI chatbot from OpenAI reportedly wrote the film “over four days, based on a single, 17-word prompt.” However, the cinema received over 160 complaints from its customers about the use of AI in the film.

“You’re platforming work which completely undermines the creative process,” one-lifetime member posted on X. Another said, “AI = plagiarism. Shame on you for supporting it.”

ChatGPT film ‘was an experiment’

In making the film, Luisi and the production team said they “wanted to find out if artificial intelligence can write an entire feature film and how good this film would be if produced by a professional team”.

Also read: OpenAI Scraps ChatGPT Voice After Scarlett Johansson Controversy

In its statement, the Prince Charles Cinema said it was told The Last Screenwriter “was an ‘experiment in filmmaking’ by a filmmaker hoping to engage in the discussion about AI and its negative impact on the arts.

‘The film’s content reflected this, so the hiring team took the booking,” the cinema explained, adding:

“The feedback we received once we advertised the film has highlighted the strong concern held by many of our audience on the use of AI in place of a writer which speaks to a wider issue within the industry.⁠”

AI has been a hot-button issue in Hollywood. In 2023, writers and actors went on a strike that lasted five months. Writers feared AI could take their jobs, and actors feared being replaced by the technology on set. The strike ended with an agreement between studio owners and workers.

Cryptopolitan Reporting by Jeffrey Gogo

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