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Watch This Fascinatingly Incoherent Short Film Written By a Neural Network

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.

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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It appears people say “I don’t know” a lot in science fiction.