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London premiere of movie with AI-generated script cancelled after backlash
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London premiere of movie with AI-generated script cancelled after backlash

A cinema in London has cancelled the world premiere of a film with a script generated by AI after a backlash.

The Prince Charles cinema, located in London’s West End and which traditionally screens cult and art films, was due to host a showing of a new production called The Last Screenwriter on Sunday. However the cinema announced on social media that the screening would not go ahead.

In its statement the Prince Charles said: “The feedback we received over the last 24hrs once we advertised the film has highlighted the strong concern held by many of our audience on the use of AI in place of a writer which speaks to a wider issue within the industry.⁠”

Directed by Peter Luisi and starring Nicholas Pople, The Last Screenwriter is a Swiss production that describes itself as the story of “a celebrated screenwriter” who “finds his world shaken when he encounters a cutting edge AI scriptwriting system … he soon realises AI not only matches his skills but even surpasses him in empathy and understanding of human emotions”. The screenplay is credited to “ChatGPT 4.0”. OpenAI launched its latest model, GPT-4o, in May.

Luisi told the Daily Beast that the cinema had cancelled the screening after it received 200 complaints, but that a private screening for cast and crew would still go ahead in London.

He added: “I think people don’t know enough about the project. All they hear is ‘first film written entirely by AI’ and they immediately see the enemy, and their anger goes towards us … If screenwriters take the time to watch the movie and read about the process and why we did this film, I can’t imagine they’ll condemn us or me because I’m one of them … I want to do this as a contribution to the cause.”

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The use of AI in the film industry remains a live issue. One of the key demands of last year’s Hollywood writers’ strike was formal protections over the integration of AI tools in the writing process, which resulted in an agreement that while AI can be used to generate script drafts, writers will always get credit for their work. The issue of performance cloning was highlighted by Scarlett Johansson’s complaint over ChatGPT’s use of a voice replica of her, which the AI company quickly dropped.

Source: theguardian.com