AI-Assisted Storytelling: Keeping the Human Touch Alive

In this digital age, we are witnessing a shift in paradigms, especially in scriptwriting. With the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the way we craft scripts has undergone a remarkable transformation. AI technology offers an innovative, efficient, and refreshing approach to developing compelling storylines, refining characters, and enhancing dialogue, thereby revolutionizing the scriptwriting process.

I embrace it with a caveat.

AI Scriptwriting: A Powerhouse of Possibilities

Incorporating AI into scriptwriting isn’t just about technology; it’s about unleashing a powerhouse of possibilities. AI can analyze complex data, recognize patterns, and draw meaningful insights, which can help scriptwriters improve the quality of their work and accelerate the scriptwriting process.

I honestly don’t believe we’ve begun to see how AI can help us analyze our scripts.

From blockbuster movies to small indie films, AI has made a significant impact across a variety of platforms. It has shown us a new way of approaching storytelling, while also providing the tools necessary to optimize the creative process.

And we’re only getting started.
But, let’s address the elephant in the room.

There’s something uniquely human about storytelling that AI can’t replicate. But it can help us shape and refine our scattered ideas, highlighting biases we might overlook. (Remember, AI’s biases are a reflection of ours—it’s a mirror, not the enemy.)

Despite the biases, it’s a tool that helps us navigate our wonderfully chaotic narratives. It won’t replace our human touch, but it can certainly enhance it.

So, let’s appreciate and embrace our organic messiness, let’s show up, and let’s keep telling our beautifully imperfect stories… now, better than ever.

The Evolution of AI in Scriptwriting: A Historical Perspective

The role of AI in scriptwriting isn’t a new concept. Since the dawn of AI technology, there has been a continuous evolution and improvement in how it interacts with the scriptwriting process.

Initially, AI was used for basic tasks such as formatting scripts and automating some repetitive parts of the scriptwriting process. However, as AI technology advanced, it started playing a more dynamic role. Today, AI can assist in creating engaging plots, developing unique characters, and generating authentic dialogue.
It can also help us in our marketing videos.

How AI Enhances Creativity in Scriptwriting

One of the key advantages of AI in scriptwriting is its potential to help us compartmentalize the creative process. I’ve spoken of this lots before in other posts, but I like to divide the creative process into four functional phases: (Explorer, Artist, Judge, Warrior).

Not only can AI help keep us in the lane we’re in, it can provide valuable insights and suggestions in each of those lanes.

AI as a Creative Catalyst

AI can be a creative catalyst, helping scriptwriters break free from conventional thinking and explore new avenues of storytelling. By analyzing vast amounts of data and identifying patterns, AI can provide unique perspectives and innovative story ideas that might not have been considered otherwise.

Character Development with AI

AI’s ability to analyze vast amounts of data makes it an excellent tool for character development. AI can study various character traits and behaviors, helping scriptwriters understand their characters better and create more authentic and relatable characters.

This is a deep rabbit hole, if you’re inclined to go down it. Here, AI can lay at your feet the human data on psychology and behavior. With it, you can do factual research. You can probe motivations of characters. You can fact check your characters for consistency.

Need to know whether an autistic child would do or say a certain thing, given their specific condition. Some AI is tied to research. I like to use Microsoft Bing for this, because I get footnotes and references.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT Premium has some of these capabilities, you just have to be sure to turn them on and use (as of this writing) GPT-4.

Dialogue Generation

AI can also generate dialogue. We have tone and style. We can also use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to “direct” the AI to create realistic and engaging conversations between characters, by describing their personality traits, backstories, regional ties, and the context of the scene.

No, it may not be able to write it like you would, or even as good. But I’ll wager it’ll come up with ideas you wouldn’t have thought of–that you can improve on.

And therein lies the dance.

The Art and Science of AI-Assisted Script Analysis

Another fascinating application of AI in scriptwriting is script analysis. By using AI, scriptwriters can gain a deeper understanding of their script and make necessary adjustments to enhance its quality.

AI-assisted script analysis can provide valuable feedback on different aspects of a script, including plot structure, pacing, character arcs, dialogue, and more. This feedback can be used to refine the script and make it more engaging and effective.

Try this as an experiment. Input a scene and ask the AI to analyze it. Either give the AI a role so it knows from what perspective (role) it is doing the analylsis, or give it specific criteria. Try it both ways. You’ll be surprised what you get back.

The AI knows entire story frameworks, or marketing frameworks if we’re working in that space. So you can ask it questions around those frameworks.

For example: If you like “Save the Cat” as a framework, you can ask it about your “Save the Cat” moment and ask it for refinements or alternatives or likely audience responses.

If you’re concerned about bias and you want to employ Dramatica’s Theory of Story so all sides of The Story Argument are fairly represented, the AI can weigh in.

Is it perfect? No. Right now we run up against memory limitations which is frustrating. But I think that will get better over time. Right now it’s best to work with overall outlines and structures, then work within the scenes (both macro and micro) bouncing back and forth to keep things on track.

The same is true if you’re writing a commercial or a simple explainer video using AIDA or PAS or one of the many others. AI can do a lot of the heavy lifting, and FAST! Now you can take a more thoughtful role as the GUIDING HAND in the creation of the process. I think it’s a more objective view point to work from.

Looking to the Future: The Growing Role of AI in Scriptwriting

As we look to the future, we can expect the role of AI in scriptwriting to continue to grow. With advancements in AI technology, we may see even more innovative applications of AI in scriptwriting, from creating fully automated scripts to offering real-time scriptwriting assistance.

I don’t ever want to see the day where we (humans) aren’t needed. But just like the scene in “Good Will Hunting” where the character played by Robin Williams calls out Will for being all about knowledge but having no real sensorial, experiential knowledge and therefore, wisdom.
That’s what we humans bring to the table in spades. The AI can help us package it up and ship it.
Is that too cold? Okay…

Too mechanical, you think? Allow me to rephrase…

Consider AI as our silent ally, our behind-the-scenes supporter, freeing us to pour our heart and soul into crafting stories, forging connections, making you truly care about what matters.

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