Steven Soderbergh not afraid of AI, thinks cell phones are the “worst thing” to happen to storytelling

Steven Soderbergh hardly sees a threat from AI, saying they lack the “life experience” to be able to replace humans.

Steven Soderbergh AI

Artificial intelligence has become such a hot topic in Hollywood that it served as a key factor in the ongoing WGA strike. While such strikes have historically put modern issues at the forefront – the 2007-2008 one partly concerned home video and streaming residuals – professional writers feeling a genuine threat from technological advancements shows just where the industry is. Now, Steven Soderbergh – a director who has embraced modern technology in meaningful ways – is speaking out against AI, saying it can’t possibly pose a true challenge because it’s not human enough.

Speaking with Variety, Steven Soderbergh said he is far from threatened by AI. “I may be the Neville Chamberlain of this subject, but I am not afraid of A.I. in this specific context. It has no life experience. It’s never been hungover. It’s never made a meal for anybody it loved. It’s never been scared walking home late at night. It’s never felt insecure because somebody that it went to high school with 20 years ago has become incredibly successful. I’m not afraid of it. It’s just another tool. If it helps you finish a first draft of a script, great. But can it finish that thing and make it great on its own? Absolutely not. As of today, it is not keeping me up at night.”

Black Mirror co-creator Charlie Brooker seems to agree with Steven Soderbergh that AI is far from posing a threat to, you know, human writers, having used ChatGPT to generate an episode of the show that ended up being, in his words, “shit.”

Steven Soderbergh may be a little disinterested in the supposed threat of AI, but he has some strong words for the use of cell phones – not the usage of (after all, this is the guy who shot a feature-length horror film on an iPhone 7 Plus), but how it has impacted storytelling. “Cellphones are the worst thing that’s ever happened to movies. It’s awful…I think you could talk to a hundred storytellers and they would all tell you the same thing. It’s so hard to manufacture drama when everybody can get a hold of everybody all the time. It’s just not as fun as in the old days when the phone would ring and you didn’t know who was calling. I remember that fondly.”

Do you agree with Steven Soderbergh that AI simply isn’t a threat to writers because it lacks human capabilities and emotions? Do you think it could get to that point in the near future? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below!

Source: Variety

About the Author

2002 Articles Published

Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.