The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Screenwriting

This is &^@#! scary:

by David Outten

Artificial intelligence is radically changing the world and it will RADICALLY change screenwriting.

Elon Musk predicts that over half the cars sold in 2030 will be autonomous. This requires artificial intelligence capable of observing and reacting like a driver does today— only better. Musk says that by 2040 cars with steering wheels will be like people riding horses today. It will be for those who enjoy something historical.

As a screenwriter, you need to realize your world is being transformed even now by the artificial intelligence capabilities of Netflix and all those rapidly gearing up to compete. This is not just about another new form of distribution and a boom in content creation. It’s a fundamental shift in the role of media production companies made possible by artificial intelligence. Like Google, media producers will make profits by getting to know more and more about you. The data they gather from subscribers will determine what scripts you can sell and what elements should be in your stories.

Streaming service providers can see what’s attracting and keeping subscribers. They can see what web page you looked at, what you watched a preview for, what you chose to watch, and for how long. They can see if you came to their site looking for something to watch and left disappointed. They can see how often you do that before unsubscribing. They can do all this without a single human being making any effort. What humans get are the resulting reports.

By 2030 the detail available in their reports will be astounding. They’ll have recipes for international success and recipes for pleasing niche markets. Those recipes will be secret. The services with the largest subscriber base will have the most data available for writing the best recipes. This is similar to the advantage Tesla has now in creating autonomous driving software, They have billions of miles of data from actual customers driving their cars. Other manufacturers only have millions. Netflix has a huge lead in gathering data, even on the product they leased from Disney and the others who are now preparing to start their own services.

Autonomous Readers

As audience behavior data increases and content recipes get refined, artificial intelligence can be used to read and pass up the line (or reject) submitted scripts. A company could “look” at a million scripts in a day and provide script notes without paying a single salary….

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