Aaron Sorkin Argues AI Couldn’t Write ‘The West Wing’

The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin is getting candid about his thoughts on the negative impacts of artificial intelligence in filmmaking.

During the Adobe Summit 2023 on Wednesday, the writer, producer and TV creator explained that he believes AI technology isn’t as useful when it comes to writing “a screenplay for you.”

“No. I don’t [think AI could write The West Wing] because — here’s what I assume has happened,” The Newsroom creator said. “Whether it’s that — there’s roughly the same kind of software for writing a hit song — I assume that they have loaded into a machine a zillion very successful screenplays, whether they’re thrillers or Westerns or romantic comedies. And a computer can then turn out something similar, but a computer didn’t write those screenplays that are being fed into the machine in the first place. And I think you’re going to enjoy things done by humans more.”

The Oscar-winning writer’s comments come at a time when the market for AI technology continues to boom, but as it advances, more debates around the matter surface.

Recently, it’s been at the center of the Writers Guild of America’s contract negotiations with studios and streamers as it pushes to prohibit AI from being used as source material, as well as AI-written works and AI-rewritten works from being covered under its contract. The union also wants to prevent writing created by AI from being considered for credits.

Sorkin, known for his writing on The Social Network, Steve Jobs and Moneyball, added that he thinks “technology can be a co-pilot too. And part of my attitude comes from the fact that I have to sit in a room with people who are experts at it and not know anything … I feel left behind.”

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