Science & Tech

Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker shares the 's***' episode idea ChatGPT came up with

Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker shares the 's***' episode idea ChatGPT came up with

Netflix releases new Black Mirror trailer

A lot of things in the chaos that is life have sparked comparisons to Netflix’s dark anthology series Black Mirror over the years. Its very first episode back in 2011 - “The National Anthem” – resurfaced in 2015 amid ‘Piggate’ and David Cameron, Apple’s Animojis drew parallels with the titular animated bear in “The Waldo Moment”, and just this week people thought Apple’s first AR headset looked particularly dystopian.

Now, as both tech experts and political advisers warn of the threat of artificial intelligence (AI), and the AI chatbot ChatGPT continues to generate memes and news stories online, Black Mirror’s creator Charlie Brooker has revealed he’s had a go with the software – albeit with underwhelming results.

He told Empire: “I’ve toyed around with ChatGPT a bit. The first thing I did was type ‘generate Black Mirror episode’ and it comes up with something that, at first glance, reads plausibly, but on second glance, is s***.

“Because all it’s done is look up all the synopses of Black Mirror episodes, and sort of mush them together. Then if you dig a bit more deeply you go, ‘oh, there’s not actually any real original thought here.’”

Shame – that would have been suitably meta.

Brooker did, however, note some learnings from his experience with the chatbot, adding: “I was aware that I had written lots of episodes where someone goes, ‘oh, I was inside a computer the whole time!’ So I thought, ‘I’m just going to chuck out any sense of what I think a Black Mirror episode is.’

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“There’s no point in having an anthology show if you can’t break your own rules. Just a sort of nice, cold glass of water in the face.”

Although an AI-produced episode of Black Mirror is off the cards for now, fans of the show do have five new ones to look forward to when the hotly anticipated season six drops on Netflix on 15 June.

Opening episode “Joan Is Awful” features a Netflix parody known as Streamberry in scenes akin to The Truman Show (and stars Scott Pilgrim actor Michael Cera and comedian Rob Delaney), episode two titled “Loch Henry” is reported to have elements of past episode “White Bear” in it, and Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul is up in space in “Beyond The Sea”.

Meanwhile the penultimate episode “Mazey Day” appears to follow the scandal-hit celebrity in its title, and stage stars Anjana Vasan and Paapa Essiedu round off the series with “Demon 76” – a story which is reportedly about a sales assistant forced to do awful things.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

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