An AI rom-com looks about as bad as you’d expect

A free TV channel is advertising an AI-generated rom-com. It looks… not great.

A trailer for a new AI-generated movie dropped recently and Oppenheimer it is not.

A still from Next Stop Paris featuring a man and a woman looking very closely at a bunch of grapes.

TCL is a budget TV maker that last year launched a free ad-supported TV (FAST) service, called TCLtv+, that offers various channels and on-demand content.

Now, TCL is experimenting with creating its own content (sort of) with Next Stop Paris, an AI-generated rom-com set to debut this summer.

Next stop… oof

Rom-coms are lucrative for TV networks because they’re cheap to make and well-watched. The Hallmark Channel’s holiday rom-coms generate $350m+ per year, a third of its annual revenue.

But the trailer for Next Stop Paris makes even the schlockiest rom-com look like a contender for Best Picture, with hacky dialogue, garbled scenery, and uncanny valley animated leads.

A release notes that the movie used an original script and human voice actors alongside AI animation, and that future projects will use “guild” talent. Hollywood did just endure two strikes over, in part, AI protections for human actors and writers; this probably isn’t what they had in mind.

No one would expect…

… an experimental AI movie to be high caliber, but it’s hard to imagine watching Next Stop Paris for any purpose but ridicule.

But 404 Media points out a grim truth: we’re already swimming in AI crap. Even in this singular instance, 404 found that Google surfaced terrible AI-generated articles written about this likely terrible AI-generated movie ahead of known outlets like Engadget.

Ah, the future, where AI-enhanced algorithms spoon-feed us AI crap and a glut of AI ads tailored to our preferences, gleaned by data mining and fed through AI. It’s what we all dreamed of, right?

Fun fact: Chris Regina, TCL’s chief content officer and co-author of Next Stop Paris, has producer credits on not one, but five Sharknado movies.

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