The New York Times published a piece last week about the latest tool being utilized by Hollywood movie executives: statistics and algorithms. It sounds a lot like the sabermetrics chronicled in Moneyball, except applied to storytelling rather than sports. This is a very slippery slope, I fear. How long until someone writes a computer program that spits out stories merely by mixing which broad elements, character archetypes and plot points are found in blockbuster movies?
If left unchecked, all these TV showrunners below will be out of work. There’s no need for new ideas; just type what the computer tells you to type. For example, what algorithm could’ve come up with an character an intriguing as Walter White? Breaking Bad never would’ve been greenlit if executives had used such data.