University of Wollongong creative arts students have performed a comedic play written by Artificial Intelligence (AI), in an effort to experiment with the full ability of the technology.

The play ‘Ten Strangers in a Room’ was showcased on Wollongong campus earlier this month and touched on themes of human connection and the power of vulnerability.

Play director, Matthew Prest said he found interest in exploring the capability of ChatGPT to write a play that evokes human issues.

“I feel like those are two themes or areas in which AI might struggle with,” said Mr Prest.

“My hunch was that AI would generate a pretty bad script for us, and especially since we asked it to write a drama, it would be a pretty bad drama.

“I was excited by the prospect of a bad drama about those themes just from the potential comedic possibilities that might present, and it did deliver on that front.”

Released at the end of November 2022, ChatGPT, along with other modes of AI, has sparked fear around the world, concerning the prospect of jobs becoming redundant and the replacement of humans for AI in various industries.

The media and playwriting industry has seen the results of such worries, with AI contributing to the playwrights’ strikes that occurred in May.

Music student at the University of Wollongong, Ashton Low, says that despite the discussion about possible consequences in future uses, AI can be beneficial and productive and that it would be useful to explore the technology further.

“I think it will overall be positive. I think in the beginning it will be pretty scary and will be very daunting to be competitive with this kind of thing, but I think it’s about learning to use it as a tool,” said Mr Low.

Mr Prest has shared a similar view that it is important to explore the possibilities of AI in different industries.

He said his career has focused more on the visual and conceptual aspects of production and that in spite of ChatGPTs ability to compose a play, the human roles of acting and directing brings the play to life and it allows it to connect to the audience.

“Theatre is more than just plays and also when there is a play, the playwriting is a very important part, but the writing itself is just a part of it,” Mr Prest said.

The University of Wollongong is hosting another play, Beginnings, at the Autumn session on campus.