New Streaming Service Allows Viewers to Create Own Shows With AI

Photo from Glenn Carstens Peters on Unsplash

New Streaming Service Allows Viewers to Create Own Shows With AI

By Movieguide® Contributor

The same studio that created viral AI-generated SOUTH PARK clips, Fable, has launched “the new Netflix,” a platform that lets users create their own content with AI.

“Fable Studio, an Emmy-winning San Francisco startup, on Thursday announced Showrunner, a platform the company says can write, voice and animate episodes of shows it carries,” The Hollywood Reporter said on May 30. “Under the initial release, users will be able to watch AI-generated series and create their own content — complete with the ability to control dialogue, characters and shot types, among other controls.”

AI’s use in scriptwriting and other aspects of Hollywood production was a major factor in the SAG-AFTRA strikes last year. Fable’s controversial feature may be interpreted as a threat to Hollywood.

Last year, “Fable released an AI-generated episode of SOUTH PARK to showcase its tech. While some mocked it for its comedic misses, others pointed to the video as a leap forward in the tech and proof of concept that AI tools will soon allow viewers to more actively engage with content, possibly by creating their own. It also demonstrated the threat the tech poses to creators whose labor could be undermined if it’s adopted into the production pipeline,” The Hollywood Reporter said.

“The vision is to be the Netflix of AI,” said chief executive Edward Saatchi. “Maybe you finish all of the episodes of a show you’re watching and you click the button to make another episode. You can say what it should be about or you can let the AI make it itself.”

The platform, called Showrunner, will allow users to create a show with a selection of 10 to 15 words. Shows will range from two to 16 minutes and are all animated, for now.

“The next Netflix won’t be purely passive. You will be at home, describe the show you’d like to watch and within a minute or two start watching,” Saatchi said. “Finish a show that you enjoy and make new episodes, and even put yourself and your friends in episodes – fighting aliens, in your favorite sitcom and solving crimes.”

At the moment, users can be put on a waitlist for a free test version of the platform. The test will most likely run until the end of 2024.

Per Saatchi, the platform uses “publicly available data.” And on the topic of copyright use, he said, “What matters to me is whether the output is original” and that the “content is what will decide whether the tech is worthwhile.”

The Guardian’s TV writer, Stuart Heritage, believes that the buzz over the new platform will die out soon.

He wrote on Friday, “The way it looks now, Showrunner has the unmistakable air of novelty. A flood of people will initially use it to make a bunch of low-quality videos that will turn the platform into an inexplicably less human TikTok or a Quibi that isn’t quite as embarrassing to say out loud. My theory is that everyone will create their own episodes at first, and try to share them, but nobody else will watch because they’re watching episodes that they generated themselves, and then everyone will get bored because what’s the point of making something just for yourself?”

“The bar for creation has been set too low,” he continued. “People will lose interest fast.”

Movieguide® recently reported on AI’s future in filmmaking:

While many in Hollywood are concerned that artificial intelligence will take over the entertainment industry, others believe the technology can never replace “human experience.”

Per Deadline, “AI became a hot topic in Hollywood last year, when both the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and SAG-AFTRA found themselves at odds with the studios on the topic. The unions both insisted on provisions in their film and TV contracts to protect members against the use of AI, which was one of several road blocks that would eventually prompt two simultaneous 100+ day strikes.”

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos weighed on AI during an appearance on actor Rob Lowe’s podcast.

“I think that the creators who learn to use these tools better than everyone else are gonna win…not companies who create, but people who create,” Sarandos said.

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