Watch This Fascinatingly Incoherent Short Film Written by Artificial Intelligence

By James Whitbrook on at

We’re getting A.I. to do all sorts of weird and wonderful things these days, whether its on the small-scale of text prediction or captioning photos, to driving cars for us and beating people at board games. But what if we turned a neural network into a science fiction writer? The answer is that you’d get a complete mess in return.

That is the premise behind Sunspring, a film starring Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch and directed by Oscar Sharp and written by... well, an LSTM recurrent neural network. Sharp and technologist Ross Goodwin fed the network a bevy of sci-fi scripts, from Ghostbusters 2 to Star Wars, and then gave it a selection of prompts to include in the screenplay it churned out.

Forty-eight hours of shooting and editing later, Sunspring is the result. It doesn’t make a lick of sense, but there’s something charmingly artsy about that, and Sharp’s film just rolls with the weirdness. It’s a cool idea, but I don’t think neural networks will be writing the next Hollywood blockbuster just yet.