Advertisement

British soaps could be created by AI within 3 years, top director claims

British soaps such as EastEnders could be written by AI in the next three to five years credit:Bang Showbiz
British soaps such as EastEnders could be written by AI in the next three to five years credit:Bang Showbiz

British soaps such as 'EastEnders' and 'Coronation Street' could be written by artificial intelligence (AI) in the next three to five years.

That's according to director James Hawes - the vice-chairman of Directors UK - who has told MPs how AI might be able to create these "Bot Cotton's adventures" before the decade is out, but insisted they will not be as "polished" as TV shows produced by humans.

He said to a Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s inquiry into how technology might affect the British film and TV industry: "I believe the genie is out of the bottle.

"It may not be as polished as we'd been used to but that's how close we're getting and I find that hard to believe for all the creatives involved."

Speaking about a forum that was held after it was revealed BBC daytime soap 'Doctors' will be axed this year, the 'Slow Horses' director said: "One of the members there started talking about AI and it sent me investigating into how long it would be before a show like 'Doctors' can be made entirely by generative AI and I took a poll with various VFX people.

"I then spoke to some of the legal team who advised Sag[-Aftra] and [the] Writers Guild [of America] over the summer ahead of coming here.

"And the best guess is between three to five years, somebody [will] be able to say, 'Create a scene in an ER room where a doctor comes in, he’s having an affair with a woman so they’re flirting, and somebody’s dying on the table,' and it will start to create it and you will build those and it will be generative AI."

The BBC confirmed last year that Doctors' final episode will air in December 2024.