M3GAN Director Gerard Johnstone On A.I., The Future Of The Series, And Making ‘A Dent In Culture’ [Exclusive Interview]

And “M3GAN” kind of came out during the perfect storm, right out of the A.I. art app explosion of discourse of “Everyone’s got a cool profile picture! Wait, this is actually really unethical.”

Oh, yeah.

Has that influenced the way that you’re thinking about the future of “M3GAN” as well?

Absolutely. It’s really interesting that ChatGPT was something that one of our consultants, Peter Abell, was actually involved in. And he was talking about these kind of generative algorithms that you could have a conversation with, and that did exactly what we were setting up “M3GAN” to do. We’ve been very fortunate that the timing of this movie has worked out so well. I mean, technology is just on this massive upward curve right now. It’s just advancing so quickly and we’re all struggling to keep up with it and figure out a way to not just regulate it, but to even put it in context.

I could do a film treatment using ChatGPT. Because sometimes it’s the hardest thing to just put words on a page. And I’m sure you could as a writer as well. It’s like you could put in a bunch of ideas you’re thinking about for a story and ChatGPT will give you a half decent first draft.

I did a paragraph. I asked ChatGPT, “Why are people afraid of A.I.?” And included it in an article I wrote about “M3GAN” and you would have no idea that I didn’t write it.

Oh my God. And what’s really interesting about it as well is we experimented putting it, trying to make it come up with a movie plot, and it would say things like, “As the mystery deepens.” And so I would write back saying, “Well, how does the mystery deepen?” And it would be like, “Well, like I said, there was the people and the thing, the mystery kind of deepens.” And I was just sitting there silently thinking about it. Meanwhile, ChatGPT kept responding, trying harder. I mean, maybe what it could mean is that it was … It kept trying to please me. It was so strange. It’s just unreal.

It’s terrifying and great all at the same time.

Yeah. Yeah, it is. And it’s absurd, which the movie is. Sometimes I feel like this movie is no more absurd than what’s going on in real life.

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