“Netflix of AI” brings Black Mirror to life with bizarre new streaming platform

Daisy Phillipson
Annie Murphy in Black Mirror Season 6 Episode 1 'Joan is Awful'

A bizarre new streaming platform described as the “Netflix of AI” has arrived, and it’s just one step away from being a Black Mirror episode.

Black Mirror Season 7 might still be a way off, but soon you’ll be able to essentially live it with a new streaming service that uses the power of artificial intelligence to allow you to create your own series. 

Fable Studio has been dabbling in this world since its inception, last year releasing an AI-generated episode of South Park to show the world what its tech could do. 

Now the company has announced the first phase of its platform Showrunner, an app that allows users to create their own content with prompts such as characters, storylines, and shot types. 

To showcase those abilities, Fable released two episodes of its Showrunner-produced series, an animated cartoon titled Exit Valley — which looks like a mix of South Park and Rick and Morty

It’s a satirical take on Silicon Valley, with the description stating: “Showrunner shows aren’t like ordinary TV shows; they are powered by ​simulations built by Fable Simulation.

​”Our first show, Exit Valley, is powered by Sim Francisco, a simulation of the bustling heart of Silicon Valley. Upload yourself, your friends, your characters to Sim Francisco and use them in shows.”

According to Fable, its Showrunner waitlist is currently at 50,000, but right now it is offering users the chance to apply for its Alpha program.

Speaking about the app, CEO Edward Saatchi said in a statement (via IndieWire): “The next Netflix won’t be purely passive; you will be at home, describe the show you’d like to watch and within a minute or two start watching.

“Finish a show that you enjoy and make new episodes, and even put yourself and your friends in episodes — fighting aliens, in your favorite sitcom, and solving crimes.”

“Our South Park episodes were a research project that took on a life of their own,” he added. 

“Seeing the huge desire of people to make their own episodes of TV, we’ve built Showrunner as a Netflix of AI to power original works of art that can stand the test of time, and to let people bring their stories to life.”

Although it’s currently dealing with animated shows, the app sounds not too dissimilar to the plot of Black Mirror Season 6 episode ‘Joan is Awful’.

In this saga, a Netflix-esque streaming platform named Streamberry uses AI to create TV shows, the difference being that rather than using animation, it mines straight from subscribers’ real lives. 

The episode was yet another example of Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker having his finger on the button, having released it at the same time Hollywood’s actors and writers went on strike over numerous issues, including the use of AI.

This tech continues to raise concerns within the industry, with movies such as Late Night With the Devil and shows like True Detective coming under fire for including AI-generated imagery.

The fear is that it will steal creative jobs and, well, have us living in a dystopian Black Mirror scenario.

There’s been plenty of apprehension about Showrunner, with commenters sharing their thoughts when Fable released its AI-generated South Park last year. 

“AI doesn’t know irony. It’s never been in love, horny, envious. Never had childhood trauma, had a child/parent/teacher relationship. The list is endless,” wrote one on Reddit. “Sure AI can write. But it can’t write humor or parody or pathos. That’s a human thing.”

Another said, “It’s basically proof of what Hollywood and these AI bros want… garbage made quickly. AI absolutely has an important role in our future, but why everyone wants it to replace the job of artists is beyond me.”

Not everyone’s against the idea, however, with one stating, “Awesome! We’re living in fascinating times.” 

Over on X/Twitter, one user said about Showrunner, “Imagine the mashups: serious remake of Jason and the Argonauts using @SouthPark characters but keep the foul language and use realistic and super horrific monsters.”

If you’re looking for human-made content, why not check out the best new movies coming to streaming this month, as well as the TV shows to add to your watchlist.

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