Fable wants audiences to generate their own shows

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The Future. San Francisco-based startup Fable is debuting a streaming service called Showrunner (filled with animated shows generated by AI), which gives audiences the ability to generate their own shows. As Hollywood wrestles with how to implement AI into their productions, the response to Showrunner’s content could influence whether studios and streamers think investing in AI-generated content is a worthwhile bet.

“Netflix of AI”
…that’s what Fable CEO Edward Saatchi hopes Showrunner will be billed as.

Here’s how the platform (currently in beta) works:

  • Showrunner comes with 10 animated shows, including Silicon Valley satire Exit Valley and sci-fi horror Ikiru Shinu, which were mostly made using AI.
  • Users are encouraged to generate episodes of the show after they finish using text prompts to create various scenes that can be stitched together.
  • They can then edit the dialogue, shots, and flow of scenes for their generated episodes.
  • The best user-generated episodes (as decided by the company) will be included in the shows’ episode lineups when the platform officially launches. The creators will receive an upfront payment and a share in revenue.

Fable, which won an Emmy in 2019 for innovation in interactive media, released an AI-generated episode of South Park last year to show off the tech. The episode was heralded as a fascinating proof of concept but also mocked for its poor timing, coming out right in the middle of two strikes where the use of AI in entertainment was a major point of contention.

Considering Saatchi’s response to allegations that AI systems are trained on copyrighted material is: “what matters to me is whether the output is original,” the company may be fine with wading into controversy.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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