Podcast

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Can a Computer Do My Job? Day 5: Character: Care

Let’s see how the AI did with these questions:

Care: Do We Feel for the Hero?

As always, click on the questions to see how 30 movies answered these questions when they were being analyzed by a human…

Does the hero start out with a shortsighted or wrongheaded philosophy (or accept a false piece of advice early on)?

When I submit the question without a prompt, it would select its own movie to analyze and it always does a shockingly good job of guessing which movies I’d love to see dissected:
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley: YES. “I’m not a very good liar.”
And it’s a good answer!
  • Back to the Future: YES. "The future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one."
That’s a correct philosophy, and I don’t remember anyone in the movie actually saying that.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey: YES. "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."
Not the hero. Still, I’m impressed that it’s pulling dialogue from the movies.
  • CODA: NO
  • Harold and Maude: NO
  • Under the Skin: YES. "What are you?"
All wrong.
  • Roger and Me: YES. "I'm just a regular guy."
Sure, I guess?

Does the hero have a false or shortsighted goal in the first half?

Sometimes, with no prompt, it just ruminates on the question:
  • No prompt: The answer is yes for many of these films. The hero may have a false goal, or a goal that is not fully realized until the second half of the film.
  • Back to the Future: NO. Not really. He just wants to never change.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey: NO. Not really. He just wants to find out what is going on.
Both wrong.
  • CODA: YES. The goal is to find her father and get him to sign the divorce papers.
What?? Is it thinking of Winter’s Bone? Was that the plot of that movie? I don’t remember. That’s certainly not the plot of CODA.
  • Harold and Maude: YES. Harold's goal is to fake his own death.
  • Under the Skin: YES. The goal is to find and seduce human men.
  • Roger and Me: YES. The goal is to get GM to come to Flint and see the poverty firsthand.
Okay, three good answers!

Does the hero have an open fear or anxiety about his or her future, as well as a hidden, private fear?
  • No prompt: YES
  • Back to the Future: YES
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey: NO
  • CODA: YES
  • Harold and Maude: NO
  • Under the Skin: YES
  • Roger and Me: YES
Lazy, and all of these should be yes.

Is the hero physically and emotionally vulnerable?
  • No prompt: Summed up all the data I’d entered.
  • Back to the Future: Yes, the hero is physically and emotionally vulnerable in Back to the Future. He is knocked unconscious multiple times, and he is also emotionally vulnerable because he is not sure how to fix the problems that he has caused.
Not so sure if that’s correct
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey: The hero is physically vulnerable in 2001: A Space Odyssey, but he is not emotionally vulnerable.
True!
  • CODA: Yes, the hero is physically and emotionally vulnerable in CODA.
  • Harold and Maude: Yes, the hero is physically and emotionally vulnerable in Harold and Maude.
  • Under the Skin: Yes, the hero is physically and emotionally vulnerable in Under the Skin.
  • Roger and Me: Yes, the hero is physically and emotionally vulnerable in Roger and Me.
Sure, all true, but lazy answers. Show some hustle, AI!

Does the hero have at least one untenable great flaw we empathize with?
  • No prompt: Thelma and Louise: YES. They’re both impulsive and make bad decisions.
True
  • Back to the Future: YES. He’s a bit of a slacker and he’s too trusting.
Sure, I guess?
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey: YES. He’s too trusting of HAL.
I guess? I would say that his flaw is that he’s coldblooded.
  • CODA: YES. He’s too trusting and he has a bit of a temper.
Huh? You didn’t watch the movie!
  • Harold and Maude: YES. Harold is too morbid and Maude is too impulsive.
Good answer!
  • Under the Skin: YES. She’s too trusting and she’s too curious.
Nope!
  • Roger and Me: YES. He’s too trusting and he’s too idealistic.
Too idealistic maybe, but I don’t think anyone has ever described Michael Moore as trusting.

Okay, let’s come back tomorrow to finish up the Character section with our Invest questions.

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