[ Beneath the Waves ]

Welcome to the Singularity

article by Ben Lincoln and ChatGPT


Recently, my friend Other Ben sent me a link to a YouTube video called "The First Horror Movie Written Entirely By Bots". It's a very funny video. Maybe it was even written by a Markov generator or some other tool, although I suspect it had a lot of help from humans.

In computing science (and now popular science), there's a concept that Vernor Vinge named "the singularity", which is essentially that at some point, a machine will be invented that can improve itself. Once that happens, the idea is that every time it improves itself, the machine will be able to perform the next iteration of improvement faster than the previous one, resulting in a continuously accelerating cycle that creates a godlike machine super-intelligence far superior to our own minds in a short period of time.

So can the AI of late 2022 improve on the works of (supposed) previous AIs? Can it generate a coherent story based on a short description of the YouTube video?

[ Ben ] Write a screenplay for a horror film with a villain named Mr. Puzzles. The three main characters should be an office worker named Jennifer, a detective with alcoholism, and a whale who is an underwater detective. The tag line for the movie should be "He failed the whale puzzle. All do."

Title: The Whale Puzzle

Tagline: He failed the whale puzzle. All do.

Act 1:

We open on a dark, stormy night in the city. Jennifer, a young office worker, is working late in her cubicle. She's feeling stressed and overwhelmed, and can't seem to focus on her work. Suddenly, she hears a knock at her window. She jumps in surprise and turns to see a shadowy figure standing outside.

Jennifer: Who's there?

Shadowy figure: It's me, Mr. Puzzles. I have a proposition for you.

Jennifer: Who are you?

Mr. Puzzles: I'm a collector of puzzles, and I have a special one for you. If you solve it, you'll be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams. But if you fail...well, let's just say it's not something you want to think about.

Act 2:

The next day, Jennifer is approached by Detective Jack, a grizzled detective with a drinking problem. He's been assigned to investigate a string of strange disappearances in the city, and he thinks Jennifer might be able to help him.

Jack: Miss, I understand you had a run-in with a man named Mr. Puzzles last night. Can you tell me anything about him?

Jennifer: Yes, he came to my window and offered me a puzzle. He said if I solved it, I'd be rewarded, but if I failed...he didn't say what would happen.

Jack: Hmm, that sounds like the work of Mr. Puzzles. He's a notorious puzzle-maker who lures people in with promises of riches, and then disappears when they can't solve his puzzles. We've been trying to track him down for years, but he always seems to stay one step ahead of us.

Act 3:

As Jack and Jennifer try to track down Mr. Puzzles, they are joined by a surprising ally: a whale who is an underwater detective. Together, the three of them follow a series of clues that lead them to an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of town.

Inside, they find Mr. Puzzles, who is surrounded by an array of bizarre and intricate puzzles.

Mr. Puzzles: Ah, welcome! I've been expecting you. I have a special puzzle just for you, Jennifer. If you can solve it, you'll get your reward. But if you fail...well, you don't want to know.

Act 4:

As Jennifer tries to solve the puzzle, Jack and the whale work to distract Mr. Puzzles. But as the seconds tick by, it becomes clear that Jennifer is struggling. Just as Mr. Puzzles is about to claim victory, the whale comes up with a brilliant plan.

Whale: I have an idea. I'll create a huge wave that will wash Mr. Puzzles away.

Jack: Are you sure that will work?

Whale: Trust me, I know what I'm doing.

Act 5:

The whale's plan works, and Mr. Puzzles is washed away in a giant wave. As the trio celebrates their victory, they realize that they've finally solved the mystery of the disappearing people.

Jennifer: We did it! We solved the puzzle and stopped Mr. Puzzles!

Jack: Yeah, and all thanks to our underwater detective here.

Whale: It was nothing. Just doing my job.

Act 6:

As the three of them walk away from the warehouse, Jennifer turns to Jack and the whale.

Jennifer: You know, I never would have thought that an office worker, an alcoholic detective, and a whale detective could make such a great team. I think we should work together again in the future.

Jack: You know, I think you're right. We make a pretty good team.

Whale: Agreed. And who knows what other mysteries and puzzles we might solve together in the future?

As the three of them walk off into the sunset, the camera pans up to the sky, where we see a flock of birds flying in the shape of a puzzle piece.

Fade to black.

The end.

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