Charlie Brooker used ChatGPT to write a ‘Black Mirror’ episode but it was “shit”

Charlie Brooker used ChatGPT to write a ‘Black Mirror’ episode but it was “shit”

Charlie Brooker has said he used ChatGPT to write an episode of Black Mirror but the end product was “shit”.

The dystopian sci-fi anthology series often revolves around humanity’s relationship with technology, between episodes around dating apps, virtual reality, internet surveillance and tracking implants.

Speaking to Empire ahead of the show’s sixth season, creator Brooker said he had “toyed around” with writing an episode using the artificial intelligence software which has attracted attention since it was released last year.

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“I’ve toyed around with ChatGPT a bit,” Brooker said. “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 shit. Because all it’s done is look up all the synopses of Black Mirror episodes, and sort of mush them together.”

Black Mirror season 6 episode Joan Is Awful
Ben Barnes and Salma Hayek in ‘Black Mirror’ season six episode ‘Joan Is Awful’. CREDIT: Netflix

“Then if you dig a bit more deeply you go, ‘Oh, there’s not actually any real original thought here.’ It’s [1970s impressionist] Mike Yarwood – there’s a topical reference.”

The software however did prove useful in showing what to avoid for the coming episodes. He added: “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.’ 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.”

The show’s sixth season is made up of five episodes, which are described as the “most unpredictable, unclassifiable and unexpected yet”. Among the episodes is one centred around a woman who discovers she’s the subject of a prestige TV drama series.

Cast members in the season include Salma Hayek Pinault, Ben Barnes, Michael Cera, Rob Delaney, Aaron Paul, Josh Hartnett and Kate Mara.

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Black Mirror season six is released June 15 on Netflix.

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