"I didn't expect that."

London Has Spoken

The premier of a movie featuring an entirely AI-generated script was canceled last week amid public backlash, The Daily Beast reports.

Per the Beast, the not-for-profit movie, titled "The Last Screenwriter," was due to debut this weekend at London's Prince Charles Cinema. But just a few days prior to the planned event, the showing was suddenly canceled. The cinema's reason for axing it, according to director Peter Luisi? Complaints. Lots of them.

Luisi told the Beast that the theater — which reportedly received over 200 complaints in total — reached out to him on Tuesday, explaining that "overnight they had another 160 people complaining, so they had to cancel the screening."

"I was totally surprised," Luisi added. "I didn't expect that."

In short, Londoners have spoken — and it seems that enough of them aren't interested in a film that credits GPT-4 as its writer.

Strong Concern

Luisi, for his part, says that people misunderstood the film's intentions.

"I think people don't know enough about the project," the director told the Beast. "All they hear is 'first film written entirely by AI' and they immediately see the enemy, and their anger goes towards us. But I don't feel like that way at all. I feel like the film is not at all saying 'this is how movies should be.'"

The director also described the film as an exploration of the "man versus machine" trope, telling the Beast that in "all of these movies, a human imagined how this scenario would be."

His is "the first movie" in which "not the human, but the AI imagined how this would be."

Of course, it could be argued that because GPT-4 is trained on troves upon troves of human data — including humanity's creative output — whatever screenplay the AI spits it is ultimately still imagined by humans. A large language model (LLM)-powered AI, then, is simply remixing that creative labor and regurgitating a version of it.

But we digress! As AI continues its ever-faster creep into the film industry, not to mention Hollywood labor disputes and union battles, this certainly won't be the last AI-forward project that we see bubble up. A fair warning to the AI-curious filmmaker, however: as it turns out, a lot of people still want their movies created by human beings.

"The feedback we received over the last 24 hrs once we advertised the film," the Prince Charles Cinema told The Guardian in a statement, "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.⁠"

More on AI and movies: Ashton Kutcher Threatens That Soon, Ai Will Spit out Entire Movies

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