Left-wing Hollywood writer David Simon, who created the HBO series The Wire, said he will refuse to use artificial intelligence technology to write his scripts, though he doesn’t have a problem if other writers want to experiment with it.
In an interview with NPR’s “Consider This” podcast, David Simon drew a hard line between himself and A.I.
“I’d rather put a gun in my mouth,” than use A.I. to assist in writing scripts, he said, later adding: “I don’t think A.I. can remotely challenge what writers do at a fundamentally creative level.”
A.I. has emerged as major point of contention between striking Hollywood writers and the studios. Many writers fear they will either be eliminated or reduced to polishing scripts generated by A.I. applications. Some also fear their original scripts will be used by studios as A.I. fodder to generate similar content.
Simon said that would qualify as a “fundamental violation of the integrity of writers and also copyright.”
“When I sold all the scripts I sold, 150 to HBO and maybe another 50 to NBC, I didn’t sell them so that they could be thrown into a computer with other people’s and be used again by a corporation,” he told NPR.
“If that’s where this industry is going, it’s going to infantilize itself,” he added, perhaps unaware the industry is already there. “We’re all going to be watching stuff we watched before, only worse.”
Simon said he doesn’t mind if other writers experiment with A.I. in the way they would use a thesaurus.
“If a writer wants to play around with A.I. as the writer and see if it helps them, I mean, I regard it as no different than having a thesaurus or dictionary on his desk … play around with it,” he said.
However, “if it starts to lead the way in the sense that a studio exec comes to you and says, ‘A.I. gave us this story that we want.’ That’s not why I got into storytelling, and it’s not where I’ll stay if that’s what storytelling is.”
Simon is one of Hollywood’s most outspoken left-wing activists.
He has called President Donald Trump a “racist moron,” a “race-hating fraud,” and a “permanent stain on our land.”
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