AI Will Create New Genres
An optimistic look at the creative potential of generative AI.
It would be disappointing if the only thing generative AI accomplished was replicating what humans can already make. This would only serve to devalue all content.
Thankfully generative AI has the potential to create new genres of content that weren’t feasible before.
Many beloved shows are formulaic, so there’s no reason why you couldn’t have more episodes. The only constraint is the human labor needed to produce each episode.
Now we’ll be able to create never-ending shows that run 24/7. You can tune in at any time, and there’ll be fresh content. Since there’s no overarching plot, you don’t miss anything in the time you spend away.
This genre has already been launched, rising to prominence on Twitch a few months ago with infinite Seinfeld.
Other notable examples include:
Unlimited Steam - A school principal who just can’t stop burning his house down while cooking.
Always Breaktime - A slice of life anime featuring three students making perpetual small talk.
BasementView - A late night show run by an “insult comic skeleton”.
Choose your own adventure
Within the last few years, Netflix has made a few “choose your own adventure” shows, most notably Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. But all of these shows are limited in their choices, because everything has to be filmed beforehand.
With low cost AI-generated content, the viewer can choose between infinite possibilities. You and your friend can watch the same show and end up with completely different endings.
The creators of the show can limit the possibilities and add constraints so they still have control of the overall vision. But the potential is limitless.
Audience created shows
A more community oriented variant of “choose your own adventure” is an audience created show. Imagine 1000 people in a Twitch chat making proposals and voting on different directions the show could head in.
One viewer might pay $100 to create a new character and define their personality. There could be a poll to decide whether the main character should move to NYC or stay in Ohio.
By making it extremely cheap to add characters and create new plotlines, the audience themselves can collaborate to create a show they enjoy.
If some portion of the audience doesn’t like the way things are going, they can make their own “fork” of the content, and have a different version of the same story.
Instead of watching some random character in a story, why don’t you become the main character?
You’ll be able to swap yourself into the main character’s place, and have your looks and voice perfectly replicated. Other characters will refer to you by name. You can finally be the protagonist.
I can imagine this being very trippy and surreal, similar to the experience of old people seeing younger versions of themselves with a TikTok filter and having emotional outpourings.
I don’t think it’s a gimmick that should be slapped onto everything. I think there will be shows specifically designed to be viewed in a second-person way, to help you reflect and give you a new perspective.
For example, there’s a powerful visualization exercise where you imagine your own funeral, and think about what you want your family and friends to say about you. This helps you figure out your personal definition of success.
Second-Person content will be even stronger than a visualization exercise.
Extremely realistic parody
AI presidents are my favorite trend right now. Biden, Obama, and Trump play Minecraft together, insult each other, and have fun. It’s hilarious.
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We’ve had parodies before, but now the voices and faces are indistinguishable from reality. Who knows, maybe Biden and Trump do play Minecraft together sometimes.
Extreme fan fiction
Let’s say you’re a big Game of Thrones fan, and like 99% of the fanbase, you didn’t like the ending and thought the final season was complete garbage and you could write a better version.
Well now you *can* write a better version.
You can use all the existing episodes to clone the characters and their voices, and create your own version of the final season of Game of Thrones.
You might break some copyright laws along the way, but the power of a fandom is much stronger than the power of copyright.
New animation styles
While many are trying to use AI art tools to recreate existing animation styles, it will be more interesting to see what new styles we can create.
The variance between generated frames has been seen as a weakness, but it might actually be the strength of AI art, and lead to a new animation style.
There could be a style where the frames are all somewhat consistent but different in a beautiful way.
Here’s one early hint of what that might look like:
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So much potential
Most of the focus of generative AI right now is on replicating what humans can already make. But we will hopefully move past this boring phase quickly.
I’m excited to see what crazy new genres are invented in the coming years.