Dear ChatGPT #3 – The Future of Screenwriting in the AI Age

person typing on laptop

Lately I’ve become extremely disillusioned with the inconsistent writing on major streaming service shows. Because of the ongoing Screenwriter’s Guild strike, there’s the looming possibility that it will go on so long that producers may turn to AI to produce, at the very least, script outlines with tools like ChatGPT, Jasper, et al. However, because of ChatGPT’s limitations with current events, it won’t know about this strike. So, I’m immensely curious how ChatGPT will respond to this letter. I will soon ask Bing Chat a very similar question, as it has access to a wider breadth of knowledge on this subject.

Dear ChatGPT,

There’s an ongoing Screenwriter’s Guild strike right now, and it has been going on for many months. One of the major sticking points is limiting the use of large language models and other AI writing tools in television programs and films. While I’m not at all concerned about independent films, the major streaming networks such as Netflix, Paramount Plus, and Disney Plus are likely considering leaning on AI to come up with at least the basic outlines of episodes and films. 

Recently I watched a new primetime television show that didn’t feel like it was written by a human being; the characters were flat and had little to no characterization and the plot felt derivative and the dialogue almost purely exposition. What is your take on the future use of large language models in writing anything from documentaries to television programs to major motion pictures?

Yours truly, Amelia.


Dear Amelia,

Your concerns touch on a multifaceted issue that’s been brewing for some time. The integration of AI and large language models like mine into creative industries is a topic of both excitement and trepidation. Here’s my perspective on the matter:

  • AI as a Tool, Not a Replacement: At its best, AI should be seen as a tool to assist writers, not replace them. Just as word processors didn’t eliminate the need for writers, AI can be used to brainstorm ideas, check for inconsistencies, or even help with writer’s block. But the human touch—empathy, intuition, and the unique experiences that inform storytelling—cannot be replicated by machines.
  • Quality Concerns: As you’ve observed, content that relies too heavily on AI can feel derivative or lack depth. This is because AI models like mine generate content based on patterns in existing data. We can’t truly “create” in the same way humans can. We don’t have emotions, life experiences, or cultural contexts. If studios lean too heavily on AI for content creation, there’s a risk of producing homogenized, uninspired content.
  • Economic and Ethical Implications: The Screenwriter’s Guild strike you mentioned underscores the economic and ethical concerns of using AI in content creation. If studios use AI to reduce costs by sidelining human writers, it could lead to job losses and a devaluation of the craft of writing. Moreover, who gets credited for work that an AI assists with or generates? These are complex issues that the industry needs to address.
  • Documentaries and Factual Content: For documentaries or factual content, AI can be a valuable tool for research, organizing vast amounts of information, and even generating narration. However, the interpretation of facts, the crafting of a compelling narrative, and the ethical considerations of documentary filmmaking are deeply human tasks.
  • Future Evolution: As AI continues to evolve, it’s likely that its role in the entertainment industry will grow. However, the hope is that it will be used in ways that enhance human creativity rather than diminish it. For instance, AI could help in world-building for sci-fi or fantasy genres, generating background stories, or assisting in creating consistent lore.
  • Audience Preferences: Ultimately, the audience has a significant say. If viewers prefer content crafted by human minds and hearts, and can discern between AI-generated and human-generated content, their viewing habits will guide the industry’s choices.

In conclusion, while AI has a place in the entertainment world, it’s essential to strike a balance. The unique human touch in storytelling, with all its nuances, emotions, and experiences, is irreplaceable. The future of entertainment should ideally be a collaboration between human creativity and AI’s capabilities, ensuring that stories resonate deeply with audiences.

Warm regards,


That was a fantastic response. But, it brought up some scary possibilities. Therefore, I will craft a follow-up to this letter presently.

Dear ChatGPT,

Thank you for your well-considered response. It has given me much to think about. I agree with all of the points you described. But, one in particular gave me pause, an aspect of AI-generated content that is already proving to be problematic. You mention how viewers are likely to prefer content crafted by human minds and hearts. However, I feel, especially in the article writing world, that AI-generated content is already surpassing much of the actual human written content in terms of page views and notoriety. Yes, these AI-generated articles are human curated. For the most part, these articles are harmless.

But, when it comes to big money projects like TV shows and films, when dealing with iconic intellectual properties and trademark characters, my life experience tells me that general audiences will consume content featuring these IP’s and personalities regardless of the overall quality of the work. Knowing that streaming services are already tying up people’s money in subscription fees, timing the releases of new series around major monthly renewal dates, how much motivation do these services and studios have in keeping up the quality when the vast majority of subscribers are going to stay put anyway, regardless of how good the end user product really is?

Thanks for your thoughts in advance,


How will it handle this extremely nuanced question?


Dear Amelia,

Your observations are astute and touch on a broader concern about the intersection of technology, economics, and artistry in the entertainment industry. Let’s delve into some of the points you raised:

1. **AI in Article Writing**: You’re right that AI-generated content, especially in the realm of article writing, has seen significant traction. This is often because AI can produce content quickly, and with human curation, it can be tailored to fit specific niches or SEO (Search Engine Optimization) goals. However, while such articles might garner page views, they often lack the depth, nuance, and unique perspective that human writers bring. Over time, discerning readers may gravitate towards more authentic and insightful content.

2. **Iconic IPs and Brand Loyalty**: Intellectual properties with a strong fan base can indeed drive viewership regardless of quality. Fans often have deep emotional connections to these IPs, and there’s a built-in curiosity to see new iterations or continuations of beloved stories. This can lead to a situation where content creators might prioritize quantity over quality, banking on brand loyalty.

3. **Subscription Models and Content Quality**: The subscription model of streaming services does change the dynamics of content consumption. When viewers have already paid for a month’s subscription, they might be more inclined to watch whatever new content is available, even if it’s of mediocre quality. However, in the long run, if a platform consistently delivers subpar content, it risks eroding trust and goodwill. While some subscribers might stay due to inertia, others might migrate to platforms that offer better value for their money.

4. **Economic Incentives**: Streaming platforms are in a race to capture market share, and content is their primary tool. The sheer volume of content being produced can sometimes overshadow the need for quality. However, standout, high-quality shows and movies can serve as flagship content, drawing in new subscribers and retaining existing ones. It’s a balance between quantity (to keep the content library fresh and diverse) and quality (to build and maintain a platform’s reputation).

5. **Audience Discernment**: While general audiences might initially consume content regardless of its quality, over time, discernment can grow. Word of mouth, reviews, and online discussions play a significant role in shaping perceptions. If AI-generated content consistently falls short, audiences might become more skeptical and discerning.

6. **The Role of Critics and Communities**: Critics, bloggers, and fan communities play a crucial role in holding content creators accountable. Their discussions, reviews, and critiques can influence broader audience perceptions and push content creators to prioritize quality.

In conclusion, while there are economic incentives that might lead to a dilution of content quality, especially with the integration of AI tools, the long-term success of any platform or studio will likely hinge on its ability to deliver content that resonates with audiences. The hope is that as AI becomes more prevalent, the industry will find a harmonious way to blend technology with human creativity, ensuring that artistry and authenticity remain at the forefront.

Warm regards,


I agree with pretty much all that’s said here, especially with the last two points. However, I’ve found that most people won’t listen to critics that bash the things that they love, no matter how bad it may appear to an impartial observer. I’ve actually found that audiences are less discerning than ever, and I don’t think that it has anything to do with people’ intelligence or critical thinking skills. Rather, I believe it’s a lack of time and attention span because of how overloaded your average human being’s life is in the twenty-first century. I do agree with ChatGPT that over time, audiences will recognize the vast drop in quality. But, there will always be some blockbuster that will bring people back, and the cycle will start again. 

What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you think AI is already adversely affecting our television shows and films, especially those that are essentially reboots of existing IP’s?

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.

2 thoughts on “Dear ChatGPT #3 – The Future of Screenwriting in the AI Age

  1. It certainly is a novel way to get into the discussion Amelia! And yes, it’s very … interesting (for want of a better word) how AI is going to start playing a role in content creation both small and large, and how far we let ourselves go down that path. It’ll be a rollercoaster ride seeing how it plays out.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Michael! What really bothers me is how prevalent AI already is in the visual arts and how many people are trying to pass it off as human created. For enhancing photos and as an overall artistic tool, I’ve actually come to embrace AI in the past few months. But I also do see it being used irresponsibly more than it being used as intended.

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