Artificial Intelligence Wrote This

Presently there is a Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike in progress. The two big issues on the table are a better share of residuals from streaming media (the writers' cut has been steadily shrinking for the last decade) and for artificial intelligence (AI) to be used only for research and not as a tool to replace them. Both seemingly fair asks, right? And yet, per usual, the WGA is forced to hit the picket lines to make their case because, unfortunately, in Hollywood, writers get no respect. Sound biased? Only because I've pitched to producers whose reaction to my buddy movie was "Yeah, we like it but instead of two guys can it be a guy and his dog? Oh, and maybe they go to the vet and the two of 'em fall helplessly in love with the woman veterinarian who, come to find out, has only six months to live?" I assure you, these kinds of things are said with a straight face.

So having been verbally bludgeoned by pompous, puffed-up producers (all of whom, have their assistants call you saying "I have so-and-so on the line... please hold") for a couple decades I realize people like that will eventually win out and AI will become standard operating procedure, not just in Hollywood but in every form worldwide, including blogs. So for once, instead of twisting in the wind like writers are so often forced to to, I decided to embrace the notion, logging on to AI Story Generator ( and answering their question: "What do you want to write a story about?" I quickly responded, "A snarky take on how Hollywood writers are often treated unfairly" and, voila!... within seconds my job here was being done for me:

Hollywood is a tough business, especially for writers. It's a world where snarky producers and executives think they know better than writers, and where writers are treated like second-class citizens. Take the famous case of Jane Smith. Jane was a talented writer with a promising script, but the Hollywood execs didn't think it was 'commercial' enough. So they sent it back to her with a laundry list of notes and demands, hoping that she would rewrite it to their liking.

Wow, 80 words, right out of the gate! A bit on-the-nose but, hey, it didn't take any effort on my part. And notice, too, they got the word "snarky" in there, so there's that. Better still, there's more:

But Jane refused to compromise her vision. She believed in her script, and she wasn't going to let anyone push her around. So she sent it back to the execs with a polite but firm rejection of their demands. That was the end of Jane's Hollywood career. No one wanted to work with someone who wouldn't bend to their will. Jane's script was never made into a movie, and she was never able to make her mark on Hollywood.

Hah, 79 more words! And a heck of a story to boot, right? And all without my even giving it a thought. Damn, I'm killin' it here!... Yeah, yeah, I know it's a tad dry and lacking of any humor or actual snark (well, except for the word "snarky" in the first paragraph) but, again, it's literally writing itself! And hey, there's even a little more:

It's a shame that Hollywood can be so cruel to its writers. But it's a story that's all too common in the film industry. Writers are often treated like second-class citizens in Hollywood, and it's a situation that needs to change.

And there we have it, a closing paragraph that sums up the Hollywood screenwriter's plight and even recommends reforms for the betterment of the industry. Yessiree, gotta say I totally nailed it!... So it is good, isn't it? You did enjoy it, didn't you? I mean, it had a decisive beginning, middle and end. And what about the punctuation, totally topnotch, right? Oh, and the spelling, don't get me going about the spelling! Not to mention, the sad ending with Jane never getting her shot? Tell me that didn't bring a tear to your eye... Okay, so maybe it didn't quite exhibit my trademark irreverence, sarcasm and wit (not to mention, humility) but, all in all, it sure checked off all the boxes.

Alrighty then, so this is the future and I'm welcoming it with open arms. As should you. The secret it simple: dwell on the positives and not the negatives. Sure, it's pablum for the masses but think of the brain power it's saving, negating the need for the writer having to concoct an idea, flesh it out and then go through great pains to rewrite and polish each sentence until they're perfectly nuanced, dovetailing together to form a cohesive paragraph containing the aforementioned irreverence, sarcasm and wit necessary to make it a genuinely good read. Likewise, relieving the audience's synapses of those all-too-lengthy sentences (with all those twenty-five cent words!), no longer being forced to comprehend jargon they're not quite familiar with and too loathe to look up. So yeah, let's hear it for mankind's ingenuity in giving our intellect a cushy time of it, for allowing our grey matter a reprieve from all the usual mental heavy lifting. Let's lift up our glasses in toast: Here's to a job... done.