Nicolas Winding Refn made fun of ChatGPT and was not impressed.
Discussing all things strike and AI, the director of “Drive” and “Only God Forgives” told IndieWire that AI is only useful for producing “empty” content with no artistic meaning. In fact, ChatGPT even encouraged Refn to seek psychological help after dealing with nasty topics for scripting purposes while using the AI bot.
“If you start asking controversial questions or topics that are no longer acceptable, (ChatGPT) closes,” Refn said. “I ran into the problem very quickly that whenever I asked for things, he would respond by saying ‘I’m unable to comment’ or ‘ask professional help’ or ‘call this hotline’, almost. And I was like, well, maybe that’s the problem. This is the whole reason we are doing this is wrong.
He added: “So to me it’s almost like your work is approved by a chat, it’s a great alert system to rewrite. It was very interesting to try it out because I thought I would use it creatively, but I actually always came across disagreeing with it. So I stopped using it, and that was it.
Refn said AI — a major sticking point for WGA and SAG-AFTRA members currently on strike over how it could affect their livelihoods — should be seen as a “tool” for creatives to improve their work and not to replace it.
“Technology has helped and it has expanded and given opportunities. So I look at AI more as a tool. But obviously, if you’re using it as a substitute because what you create can be multiplied so equally, then that’s a very dangerous factor,” he said. “But it also comes back to why we’re creating content and why this content is so easy to duplicate?”
Refn continued, “You know, we’ve never made more content than ever before in our history of content production, and I think most people spend their time figuring out what not to watch rather than what to watch. So maybe that’s not part of the problem either. I think it’s a much more philosophical issue that’s more complex than just narrowing it down to profits because right now it’s all about money.
According to Refn, AI creates the highest level of marketable content that effectively says nothing and therefore appeals to everyone.
“The emptier it is, the easier it is to multiply,” he said. “I am by no means a tech savvy. It’s the same thing when everyone orders from Amazon and people don’t go to the local community store – what do you think will happen? They close and then one entity controls everything that is unhealthy. So it also depends on people themselves how they engage and how they interact because if they don’t, yes, technology will take over in certain fields.”
The “Neon Demon” author added: “We shouldn’t even think about it because if you create the singularity, you can never duplicate it. So, stay true to yourself. Isn’t this what we should be discussing, in addition of course to sharing and wealth? This is child’s play. But maybe we should start talking about why we’re doing things and how that actually makes the world a better place? Because what we should all say is that if you create from your heart, your soul in your singular vision, then (AI) can never (…) make a copy of that, a copy of the real you.
Refn concluded, “It’s always what these sci-fi shows are about when you have AI people and robotics that there’s always this lack of, well, it’s never the real you. It’s a copy of you, and that’s what we should tell our kids, to be true to yourself. Don’t flow with the system, don’t try to be like everyone else. Just be yourself, the only individual thing that can ever be taken away. We should appreciate that. We should support it.