Have you ever had an idea for a movie or play that you just know will be a smash hit but have yet to write the script? DeepMind, a division of Alphabet, has created an AI tool to assist you in getting started.
Dramatron is a tool that generates character descriptions, plot points, location descriptions, and dialogue. Human writers will be able to compile, edit, and rewrite what Dramatron generates into a proper script. Consider it similar to ChatGPT, but with output that can be edited into a blockbuster movie script.
You’ll need an OpenAI API key to get started, as well as a Perspective API key if you want to reduce the risk of Dramatron displaying “offensive text.” To put Dramatron to the test, I entered the logline for a movie idea I had around the age of 15 that would have been a smash hit if Kick-Ass hadn’t beaten me to it.
Dramatron quickly created a logical title, as well as character, scene, and setting descriptions. The AI-generated dialogue was logical but trite and on the nose. Otherwise, it was almost as if Dramatron plucked the descriptions from my head, including one for a scene I didn’t mention in the log line.
According to a paper presented today by the Dramatron team, playwrights appeared to agree. To put the tool to the test, the researchers enlisted the help of 15 playwrights and screenwriters to co-write scripts.
Introducing Dramatron, a new tool for writers to co-write theatre and film scripts with a language model. 🎭
Dramatron can interactively co-create new stories complete with title, characters, location descriptions and dialogue.
— DeepMind (@DeepMind) December 9, 2022
According to the paper, playwrights stated that they would not use the tool to create an entire play because the AI’s output can be formulaic.
They did, however, suggest that Dramatron would be useful for world-building or for assisting them in experimenting with different approaches to changing plot elements or characters. They also mentioned that AI could be useful for “creative idea generation.”
That said, a playwright staged four plays that used “heavily edited and rewritten scripts” they wrote with the help of Dramatron. DeepMind said that in the performance, experienced actors with improv skills “gave meaning to Dramatron scripts through acting and interpretation.”
The use of the AI tool may raise concerns about authorship and who (or what) should be given credit for a script. An appeals court in the United Kingdom ruled last year that artificial intelligence cannot be legally credited as an inventor on a patent.
DeepMind points out that Dramatron can output text fragments used to train the language model, which, if used in a finished script, could lead to plagiarism accusations. “One potential mitigation is for the human co-writer to search for substrings from outputs to aid in the detection of plagiarism,” DeepMind said.