Sunspring: A sci-fi short written by an AI, starring Thomas Middleditch from Silicon Valley

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 9.49.11 PM

Thomas Middleditch of the show Silicon Valley stars in a new sci-fi short called Sunspring. The first time I watched Sunspring I had no idea what was going on or why. The dialogue was completely nonsensical but also intriguing. Where was this story going? Then the characters themselves seem to be getting lost in what’s happening by repeating to each other “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I finished the short assuming it must be some poetic art piece with a message that went way over my head. Then I was told that the screenplay was written completely by an AI algorithm. What!

Ok so now I was interested. Director Oscar Sharpe was tasked to submit a project to the 48 hour film challenge for the film festival, Sci-Fi London. For the challenge, a specific set of lines and prompts had to appear in the film and must be completed in no more than 2 days. Sharp reached out to his friend Ross Goodwin, whom he met while studying film at NYU. Ross attained his masters in natural language processing and neural networking (think like the predictive text software used on your phone). Both had been striving to create an AI that could write original pieces of work and an opportunity for a screenplay had finally presented itself.

The AI which called itself ‘Benjamin’ is a LTSM, long short-term memory, recurrent neural network. So it’s mainly used for text recognition. They fed Benjamin dozens of sci-fi screen plays from the ’80s and ’90s along with the prompts required by the contest. In time, Benjamin then learned the structure of the screenplay and Sunpring was born.

Check out Sunspring for yourself and see what you make of it.

Source: arstechnica

Facebook Comments