10th June 2023 – (New York) Black Mirror has always had an uneasy relationship with technology, exploring the dangers and consequences of its use in society. With the recent concerns about the development of artificial intelligence, fans might wonder about the show’s creator Charlie Brooker’s own position on AI-fuelled software like ChatGPT. Well, it turns out that Brooker is not impressed.
In an interview with Empire, Brooker reveals that he has toyed around with ChatGPT a bit. He typed “generate Black Mirror episode” and found that the generated content at first glance appears plausible, but on closer inspection, lacks original thought. The software simply looked up the synopses of Black Mirror episodes and mashed them together. Brooker likens it to “1970s impressionist” Mike Yarwood, where there’s a topical reference but no real originality.
In Black Mirror, the problem is not the technology itself, but the way humans use it. Brooker became aware of this pattern while putting together the new series and decided to incorporate new twists. He says, “There’s no point in having an anthology show if you can’t break your own rules. Just a sort of nice, cold glass of water in the face.”
This leads us to the new episode, “Beyond The Sea,” which is set in an alternate 1969 and stars Aaron Paul, Kate Mara, and Josh Hartnett. Brooker describes it as “sort of dystopian past, present and future.” He had the plot idea first and then decided to set it in the late ’60s, which required him to think about how the characters would think and behave in that time period.
The upcoming season of Black Mirror will be streaming on Netflix from June 15. Fans can read Empire’s exclusive feature on the show’s sixth season, which includes an interview with Charlie Brooker, in the July 2023 issue. Brooker’s rejection of nostalgia in the new season shows that he is continuing to explore the dangers and consequences of technology in society, even as he breaks his own rules.