Everywhere you look these days, people are talking about artificial intelligence. A New York Times reporter recently had a conversation with an AI chatbot created by Microsoft that, among other things, confessed to destructive impulses and seemingly fell in love with said reporter over the course of the chat. (Microsoft has already limited the number of questions a user can ask the chatbot in a single session, so things are going great so far.)
Chatbots use artificial intelligence to interpret and answer questions. Some chatbots are sophisticated enough to create complex responses that could have been written by human beings. But can they write film reviews?
To find out, I posed a series of questions to the chatbot ChatGPT. I gave it a list of 25 widely recognized cinematic classics and asked it why each was considered a great work of art. It gave lengthy responses for each; a series of bullet points, followed by a summary, which I have excerpted below:
An AI Chatbot Reviews Classic Movies
We asked ChatGPT about 25 of the greatest movies ever made. Here are its reviews…
So, what did we learn? Well, for one thing, I will not be out of job and replaced by an AI in the immediate future. (In the semi-near future, maybe.) While none of what the chatbot said about the 25 movies was incorrect, its responses were a bit repetitive. It praised the movies’ “groundbreaking” visuals over and over; and it cited some variation of “enduring cultural significance” for title after title. Again, it’s not wrong! Most of these movies do include groundbreaking imagery and most left some kind of impact on po culture. But one of the most crucial parts of being a critic is finding different ways to say the same thing over and over again — and at least at present, ChatGPT had a difficult time with that.
That said, I was slightly relieved that when I asked why Terminator 2: Judgment Day was a great movie it didn’t respond with “because it gave me a lot of practical ideas for career goals to strive toward as an artificial intelligence.” I was testing you, ChatGPT . And you passed.
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