Carlos Osorio / Getty
- YouTuber Casey Neistat, popular for vlogging about his NYC life, asked ChatGPT to write him a script.
- Neistat asked GPT-4 to write a vlog that takes place in downtown Manhattan, and includes his wife.
- The dry dialogue is unintentionally funny, and Neistat said it “sucked” because it had “no soul.”
YouTuber Casey Neistat asked the latest version of ChatGPT to write a script for his latest vlog, and the resulting dry dialogue is unintentionally hilarious.
Neistat asked GPT-4, which is available via OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus, to write a three to four minute video that includes dialogue and a shot list for downtown Manhattan in the daytime. He also asked the chatbot to include a short cameo with his wife, Candice Pool, that takes place near her office.
Throughout the vlog, Neistat reads from a printed out script written by GPT-4, which the chatbot has titled “A Day in Downtown Manhattan.”
The vlog opens with an aerial shot of downtown Manhattan from a drone — a shot and device Neistat uses in many of his other vlogs.
Unlike his videos that usually start anecdotally or while Neistat is in the middle of a situation, GPT-4 has him start off with a generic, “Welcome back to the vlog, today we’re exploring Downtown Manhattan,” opener.
GPT-4 includes shots of Neistat riding his electric skateboard — another common feature in his vlogs.
Neistat’s script sounds like a typical tour of downtown Manhattan, and takes him to places like One World Trade, the Oculus, and Battery Park, with a view of the Statue of Liberty.
“Let’s take a quick look inside Brookfield Place, one of my favorite spots in downtown Manhattan,” Neistat reads, while shaking his head in disagreement.
When Neistat visits his wife, the two laugh as they read the script’s dry dialogue.
A screenshot from Casey Neistat’s AI-written YouTube video.
“Hi!” she says, per the script.
“What’s new at the office, Candice?” Neistat asks.
“Were working on some exciting new projects, but it’s top secret for now, you’ll have to wait and see,” she replies, with an un-scripted laugh.
“Sounds intriguing,” he says.
‘A photocopy of a photocopy of something that maybe was good’
When the GPT-4-written vlog ends, Neistat tells his viewers that it was “the worst video I’ve ever made” and that the video “sucked because it had no humanity, it had no depth to it, no soul to it.”
Creative works, whether it be music, YouTube videos, or paintings, all convey a human experience that affects other people, he says.
In GPT-4’s defense, Neistat says he “could’ve gone deeper with the prompts” and the chatbot “could’ve faked having a soul a little bit more,” but overall it “felt robotic” and “like a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy of something that maybe was good.”
Neistat ends the video saying he hopes tools like GPT-4 don’t get better, because he likes creativity when it comes from humans.
On one hand, Neistat told Insider that he thinks one of the most interesting use cases he’s seen with AI tools like GPT-4 was when he gave it to his eight-year-old daughter who asked it to write a story about her. Neistat said the story was “as compelling as any of the children’s books on her shelf.”
“I think there’s no better way of testing that, than putting it in the hands of an eight year old,” Neistat said about AI. “Time and time again, it proves to deliver — certainly in a way that feels creative and feels smart and feels engaging.”
On the other hand, Neistat said he doesn’t think AI, in its form today, poses much of a threat to creatives who make “truly original” content. The people who could be at risk, he said, are newer creators who still haven’t found their own voice, and who make similar content to other creators.
“I think that the people who sort of lack creative insight and instead just lean into what other people are doing, I think those people are threatened,” Neistat told Insider.
Neistat, who said he drew inspiration from directors like Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry earlier in his career, says he counts himself in that category too.