ChatGPT and I Write a Comedic Movie Plot

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Image generated by DALL-E from OpenAI (with slight human touch-ups)
Image generated by DALL-E from OpenAI (with slight human touch-ups)

Morning. I was talking to ChatGPT earlier today about the possibilities for time travel. In CGPT’s opinion, time travel doesn’t seem feasible unless some disruptive new invention appears.

Since time travel isn’t here yet, I asked CGPT to write a funny movie plot about time travel for me. Think Hot Tub, Time Machine, only not as high-brow. Anyhow – here’s the dialogue with this OpenAI technology. The bolded text represents the ideas I liked most to advance the plot. The highlighted text is my single creative contribution to the entire damn enterprise.

Doug: Can you suggest some funny movie plots that involve time travel, even if stupidly implausible?

CGPT: Here are a few humorous time travel movie plot ideas:

  • A group of friends accidentally travel back in time to the Middle Ages while trying to invent a time machine in their garage. Hilarity ensues as they try to blend in and avoid being burned at the stake as witches.
  • A group of time travelers go back to the 1960s to witness the moon landing, but somehow manage to inadvertently change history and end up in a world where Elvis Presley is President and disco is the national music.
  • A man accidentally travels back in time to the Wild West, where he must use his modern-day knowledge and technology to outsmart the outlaws and become the most feared gunslinger in the land.
  • A group of high school students travel back in time to the days of the dinosaurs, where they must use their science skills to survive and find their way back to the present.
  • A time traveler goes back to the days of the Roman Empire and becomes a gladiator, using his superior fighting skills to become the champion of the Colosseum.

Doug: I like the idea of the friends traveling back in time to the Middle Ages accidentally. Can you suggest some funny plot twists involving the Queen taking a liking to one of the friends?

CGPT: Sure! Here are a few funny plot twists involving the Queen taking a liking to one of the friends:

  • The Queen, who is known for her love of exotic and unusual entertainment, becomes fascinated with the time travelers and decides to keep them as her personal court jesters. The friend who catches her eye becomes her favorite and is showered with gifts and privileges, but must also perform increasingly dangerous and absurd tricks to keep her entertained.
  • The Queen, who is renowned for her beauty and charm, becomes infatuated with the friend and begins pursuing him romantically. This causes conflict within the group, as the other friends try to find a way to get him back to the present before he gets too deeply involved with the Queen.
  • The Queen, who is known for her cunning and scheming ways, sees the time travelers as a way to advance her own power and plots to use them to her advantage. She sets her sights on the friend who caught her eye, using him as a pawn in her schemes to manipulate the court and gain more influence.
  • The Queen, who is known for her love of gossip and scandal, becomes fascinated with the time travelers and their strange stories of the future. She becomes convinced that the friend who caught her eye is hiding a dark secret and sets out to uncover it, leading to a series of comedic misunderstandings and mishaps

Doug: Good ideas. what if we combine ideas #2 and #3 — the Queen pursues the friend romantically, but only as a pretense to gain more power. What might dangerous plot twists that end up funny might occur?

CGPT: Here are a few dangerous plot twists that could end up being funny if the Queen is pursuing the friend romantically as a pretense to gain more power:

  • The Queen’s advances towards the friend become more and more bold and obvious, causing tensions within the court and leading to a series of comedic misunderstandings and mishaps as the other characters try to navigate the complex political landscape.
  • The Queen’s true motives are eventually revealed, and the friend becomes caught in the middle of a power struggle between the Queen and her rivals. He must use his wits and modern-day knowledge to outsmart the scheming nobles and find a way back to the present.
  • The friend, who is initially flattered by the Queen’s attention, begins to suspect that she is using him and becomes determined to outmaneuver her. This leads to a series of comical attempts to outsmart the Queen, culminating in a grand showdown between the two.
  • The Queen’s romantic pursuit of the friend becomes a source of entertainment for the court, and the two are forced to play along and put on a show for the entertainment of the nobles. The friend must use his acting skills and modern-day knowledge to keep up the charade while also trying to find a way back to the present.

Doug: What about accidentally bringing the Queen back to the present?

CGPT: If the friends accidentally brought the Queen back to the present, it could lead to a number of comedic misunderstandings and mishaps as she tries to adjust to life in the modern world. Some possible plot twists involving the Queen in the present could include:

  • The Queen, who is used to being treated with the utmost respect and deference, is shocked by the casual and informal nature of modern society and struggles to adapt. This leads to a series of comical misunderstandings and mishaps as she tries to navigate the modern world.
  • The Queen becomes a media sensation upon arriving in the present, and must deal with the attention of the paparazzi and the public. This leads to a series of comical misunderstandings and mishaps as she tries to keep up with the demands of modern celebrity culture.
  • The Queen becomes fascinated by the technological advancements of the modern world and becomes a tech mogul, using her knowledge and experience to outmaneuver her competition and become a successful businesswoman.
  • The Queen becomes a cultural ambassador, using her unique perspective and experiences to bridge the gap between the past and the present and promote understanding and cooperation between different time periods.

That’s as far as I pursued the exploration of the plot.

In all seriousness, the implications of ChatGPT appear to be of major significance. According to Wikipedia, CGPT leverages several AI/ML training techniques:

…[It uses] supervised learning as well as reinforcement learning. Both approaches used human trainers to improve the model’s performance. In the case of supervised learning, the model was provided with conversations in which the trainers played both sides: the user and the AI assistant. In the reinforcement step, human trainers first ranked responses that the model had created in a previous conversation. These rankings were used to create ‘reward models’ that the model was further fine-tuned on using several iterations of Proximal Policy Optimization (PPO). Proximal Policy Optimization algorithms present a cost-effective benefit to trust region policy optimization algorithms…

So, if I understand this correctly, the human-like responses were assisted with real human oversight. One wonders: when will human guidance be of diminishing returns to the machine’s models?

If you’re interested in seeing a forthcoming white paper on this topic, please email me at doug.ross@capgemini.com. Thanks for reading.

Doug Ross

About

Doug Ross is the former CTO at Western & Southern Financial Group, a Fortune 500 diversified financial services company. While there, Ross won a ComputerWorld Premier 100 Award as well as an SMA Innovation in Action Award for innovative solutions that helped the organization open new and highly profitable distribution channels.

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