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Sunspring, a Movie Made by Algorithm

You’re invited to watch what is possibly the weirdest, most incomprehensible short film ever made (if you discount everything from Cyriak Harris). Sunspring was written by an artificial intelligence program. It’s only eight minutes long, but it will confuse you in every one of those minutes.

Ars is excited to be hosting this online debut of Sunspring, a short science fiction film that's not entirely what it seems. It's about three people living in a weird future, possibly on a space station, probably in a love triangle. You know it's the future because H (played with neurotic gravity by Silicon Valley's Thomas Middleditch) is wearing a shiny gold jacket, H2 (Elisabeth Gray) is playing with computers, and C (Humphrey Ker) announces that he has to "go to the skull" before sticking his face into a bunch of green lights. It sounds like your typical sci-fi B-movie, complete with an incoherent plot. Except Sunspring isn't the product of Hollywood hacks—it was written entirely by an AI. To be specific, it was authored by a recurrent neural network called long short-term memory, or LSTM for short. At least, that's what we'd call it. The AI named itself Benjamin.

They fed Benjamin a whole slew of well-received science fiction films and then gave it a couple of prompts to build a screenplay around. The filmmakers tried their best to render it as written. If you’ve ever worried about artificial intelligence taking over the world, this will assure you that we’ve got a long way to go yet. See the whole thing at Ars Technica.


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