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How to Use AI in Screenwriting

No, an AI language program did not write this blog post. Well, not entirely at least.

And very little of this blog post was written by the real original AI, basketball icon Allen Iverson. That said, I suppose I am doing this a bit for the Al Gore Rhythm. Here's how AI can help screenwriters:

1. Idea Generation:

AI algorithms, such as those based on natural language processing (NLP) like ChatGPT, can assist in generating/stealing creative ideas for plots, characters, and settings. These programs can produce more crap quicker than anyone I know. Because of that, I think proper writers will be bored by the results pretty quickly. However, I do recommend writers practice playing with new toys and tools. Just like visiting new places, experiences help generate interesting ideas.

2. Character Development:

AI programs will tell you that they can analyze character traits, motivations, and behaviors based on vast datasets, helping writers create more nuanced and realistic characters. In my experiences of using a couple script breakdown programs, the "analysis" roughly matches what a speed-reader might pick up. Basically, one character talks a lot; one uses more exclamation points; one disappears for most of Act Two; etc.

I've also noticed Chat GPT uses the name "Lucy" a lot when I tried to have to generate characters and stories. I don't know why.

3. Script Editing and Proofreading:

AI-driven tools can identify and correct grammatical errors, syntax issues, and style inconsistencies in scripts, ensuring a polished final product. This is not so different from Grammarly, Spell-Check, or Clippy, so, yes, AI can help in that regard.

4. Predictive Analytics for Success:

Now we're talking! Let's start at least believing AI algorithms can analyze historical data and predict the potential success of certain plot elements or story structures. This is essentially the job of development executives, so maybe AI could be coming for their jobs!

Not for nothing, but maybe we could just have AI work on stuff like curing cancer and getting rid of that floating trash in the Pacific Ocean?

5. Adaptation and Translation:

This is probably the scariest and most realistic implementation of AI in the screenwriting world. AI can assist in adapting stories from one medium to another, such as from books to screenplays. It will take literally seconds for a program to create a screen along of the lines of "Huckleberry Finn" set in the year 2024. The result will be boring, but a screenwriter will take a job doing an uncredited "polish" on the script and now we have a movie in production written by nobody. I understand the WGA fought against this type of AI usage last year, but I suspect it's a-coming/here already.

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