A self-named artificial intelligence algorithm by the name of Benjamin has written a short sci-fi movie under the title “It’s No Game.” No game, indeed, as the film tells the tale of two Hollywood writers as they learn they are about to be replaced by an AI bot that generates screenplays. This is rather ironic, as the AI in question might just do that in real life, if it can really improve its game.

Benjamin is the brainchild of Ross Goodwin, an AI researcher and graduate student at New York University, along with director Oscar Sharp. The duo came up with the idea to feed a whole load of teleplays and sci-fi screenplays into a neural network to give the AI bot an idea of setting, dialogue and plot.

They then turned it on to see what would come out.

Benjamin the AI bot writes second short sci-fi film

As reported by the Sacramento Bee, this latest release isn’t the first movie scripted by Benjamin, as last year the AI bot wrote “Sunspring” – also a short sci-fi film – as part of a competition. That movie was critiqued by Slate Magazine, who said watching it felt like a film made in a foreign language that you once studied, but never completely understood.

While that short film didn’t go down too well, it seems that Benjamin is learning and developing. Ars Technica reports that while the AI can’t tell a really good story just yet, if you take a determined cast and a good director, you can sometimes make a good film from a bad screenplay. That report says “It’s No Game” is better than “Sunspring,” partly because the screenplay is better, but also because of the acting.

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David Hasselhoff stars as the Hoffbot, an actor infected by nanobots, who articulates the thoughts of an artificial intelligence bot – naturally that AI bot is Benjamin itself. The screenwriters in the film are then also infected by nano-tech – in their tea – without hilarious results.

Hasselhoff gives a tear-jerking performance towards the end of the film, saying he just wants to be a man and watch movies, before he walks off wearing a pair of red shorts – apparently a remnant of his bygone “Baywatch” days.

Artificial intelligence bot film with all-star cast

Besides Hasselhoff, other actors in the short sci-fi film are Tom Payne, well known for his role as Jesus in AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” Tim Guinee (“Blade” and “Vampires”), Sarah Hay (“Black Swan”) and Jake Broder (“Silicon Valley”).

As Ars Technica mentions, much of the dialogue makes little sense and the ballet sequence the AI bot inserted toward the end of the short sci-fi film is somewhat trying.

However, they say that unlike “Sunspring” this new movie does focus on an actual, and nicely recursive, idea. Basically, screenwriters had better watch out as the film does seem to predict that an AI bot writing screenplays could actually become a real thing.

Readers can enjoy “It’s No Game” in the video included below.