Unveiling Hollywood’s Deepest Anxieties: A Comprehensive Insight

**Showrunner: The Threat of AI Revealed in Generative AI TV Episodes**

As the Hollywood entertainment industry faces strikes from actors and writers, a company known as The Simulation (formerly Fable Studio) has introduced a groundbreaking AI application called Showrunner. Showrunner has the ability to create 22-minute generative AI TV fan and parody episodes of popular shows. In a recent demonstration, The Simulation released a 22-minute episode of *South Park* titled “Westland Chronicles,” which revolves around the ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike and a Hollywood studio named Bizney that disastrously utilizes AI. This episode, as well as the technology behind Showrunner, exposes the very real threat of AI, prompting the creators to refrain from making it available to the general public.

**AI Technology Creates Fan Art-Like Episodes of Popular Shows**

Despite having no affiliation with the producers of *South Park*, The Simulation chose to replicate the show’s minimalist animation style for its demo due to the vast amount of existing content that could be used to train the AI models. Utilizing basic prompts, Showrunner is capable of producing an entire episode, including the story, script, voice recordings, animation, editing, and scoring. The Simulation emphasizes that the released episode holds no commercial purpose but can instead be considered a form of fan art.

**AI’s Impact on the Entertainment Industry**

According to Ed Saatchi, the CEO of The Simulation, artists and storytellers are just beginning to comprehend the effectiveness of AI. In an interview, he expressed excitement, as well as deep concern, regarding the power of AI. Saatchi stresses that the intended purpose of sharing the research findings in a non-commercial manner is to raise awareness among artists and Hollywood producers about the very real threat posed by AI. Currently, Showrunner is accessible only to researchers and journalists, with no plans for public release.

**Creating a Simulation of AI Characters**

Philipp Maas, the creator of Showrunner AI, envisions a simulation where AI characters exist around the clock, developing rich stories. The AI generates a 22-minute episode based on events within the AI characters’ lives every week of simulation time. Maas began working on the Showrunner program after robust open-source AI models like Open AI and Stable Diffusion became available. While anyone can freely download an open-source AI program from Git and run it on a powerful PC, the key lies in training the models and utilizing the appropriate prompts.

**The Simulation’s Experience with AI in Entertainment**

The Simulation, led by Ed Saatchi, has been working extensively with AI for the past five years. Two months ago, they announced another AI feature called “White Mirror,” which is set to be released in the near future. Fable Studios’ critically acclaimed VR film, *Wolves in the Wall*, released in November 2019, showcased an AI-enabled character named Lucy, built using Open AI’s Chat GPT. Fable even experimented with Lucy outside of the *Wolves in the Wall* story, treating her as a child star who played a role in their VR production.

**Putting Individuals into AI-Generated Episodes**

Showrunner not only has the capability to generate original TV episodes but can also incorporate individuals into these episodes. According to Saatchi, Warhol’s theory of everyone having their 15 minutes of fame can be taken to the next level with Showrunner. This AI tool allows individuals to potentially have their own syndicated 7 Season TV show, minimizing the compromises and dilution typically faced in film and TV production.

**The Role of Humans in AI-Generated Content**

While Showrunner can produce episodes that closely resemble *South Park* in appearance, sound, and feel, there is still a noticeable discrepancy, much like with fan art. Humans are still required to manage and train the AI, directing it and identifying its mistakes. AI, by nature, learns from these errors, and as a result, future episodes will continue to improve until they become indistinguishable from the real thing.

**Original AI TV Shows and Collaborations**

Saatchi revealed that The Simulation has simulations associated with various TV shows, including original ones. The company is currently in talks with several studios and collaborating with top creators to develop original intellectual property through AI-generated TV shows.

**The Power Shift in Hollywood: AI Empowers Writers**

As Showrunner represents Hollywood’s fears regarding AI, the implications may not be as negative as initially perceived. The application could potentially grant writers unprecedented control over the means of production. Showrunner might allow writers to upload scripts, storyboards, and even actors, pitching their content as animated mock-ups created by AI. Paradoxically, this could provide writers with more power than ever before.

**The Writers Guild’s Position**

When contacted for comment, the Writer’s Guild in Los Angeles declined to provide a statement on the matter.

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