There are many areas of human endeavour under threat of replacement by artificial intelligence right now. Meteorologists, travel agents, writers of Batman scripts: the list of jobs where bots can do a better job gets ever longer.
For an example of that last category please cast an eye over these glorious two pages of a script which writer/comedian Keaton Patti made a bot create after plugging in a bunch of Batman screenplays.
First up, it’s very funny. And lines like “Eat a dinner, Mattress Wayne” and “I drink bats, just like a bat would!” have a certain A1 vibe to them.
But… the puns? The expired coupon for parents? The flipping of Alfred? They just feel a bit too good for a bot, unless Patti’s got a next level AI from the future that’s come back to stop John Connors, in which case he’s really burying the lede.
Now, it’s worth pointing out that “I forced a bot to do this” is a phrase with a lot of different meanings, ranging from predictive text keyboards operated by humans (which is how Botnik Studios, masters of these sorts of hilariously surreal bits of writing, tend to operate.
“Neural networks”, a form of machine learning, tends to do better with short bursts of things because of the weird dream-logic is employs which makes it meander off theme relatively quickly. Great for making cat names, not ideal for sustained narratives – which is why Janelle Shane’s AI Weirdness blog is such a consistently rewarding read.
So, did Patti actually put a bunch of Batman scripts through an AI, or is this just a parody written in the style of a bot by a human in some sort of confusing human-as-bot-as-human meta-project?
That’s the sort of a question which can only be answered over a tall, cold glass of bats. And maybe some goth ham.