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What is Fable AI? – Showrunner AI creates South Park episode

Fable AI release Showrunner AI "SHOW-1", an artificial intelligence that can make generative TV shows in real-time. What is Fable AI?

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on December 5, 2023
What is Fable AI?
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AI can now generate TV shows. In a recently publicised example, Fable Studios used a technology called SHOW-1 to make new episodes of the popular cartoon South Park. This included the script, visuals, and voices all being generated in real-time by artifical intelligence. How is this possible? Well let’s take a look at this AI showrunner software, as we ask “What is Fable AI?

What is Fable AI?

A San Francisco startup called Fable Studios has recently launched its SHOW-1 AI technology. This generative AI can write, produce, direct, animate, and even voice complete new episodes of TV shows. The actors are played by autonomous AI bots, and the scripts are generated in real-time after an initial text prompt.

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Fable has won two Emmys and a Peabody award for their work detailed in this research paper.

In an interview with Gamesbeat, Fable CEO Edward Saatchi reveals that “What the AI Showrunner does is create episodes of South Park for you. All of this is created by the AI Showrunner,” he explains. “Not just the dialogue. It animates, it does the voices, it does the editing. For the TV episodes, AI Showrunner can just generate episodes, or the user can create a prompt and create TV episodes based on a two-sentence prompt. People said AI can’t tell a story. Well, it can.”

How does SHOW-1 work?

Fable Studios achieved this simulation by utilizing various diffusion models. Diffusion models work by introducing and eliminating random noise from the data progressively, until the desired output is generated. This is how the backgrounds are generated in real-time based on the story, which is not pre-written.

Voice cloning technology is employed to produce realistic human speech from AI-generated dialogue. Thankfully, the art style lends itself to real-time generation, with 2D assets, block colour fills, and minimal lighting. Reproducing this in high-quality with 3D assets is absolutely possible by modern standards, but will require faster (and therefore more expensive) processing.

What is Showrunner AI by Fable Studios?

Showrunner AI is a specialised AI tool built on an AI model called SHOW-1. It can create all elements of a TV show in real-time. The actors are played by showrunner agents – individual instances of AI which each believe themselves to be a character in the show. They produce their own dialogue in response to the most recent thing said by a different showrunner agent.

Does South Park use AI?

The creators of South Park have dabbled in AI, referencing the societal shift towards adoption of artificial intelligence on more than one occasion. It is, of course, a pertinent topic for the producers of a show that will, before long, be entirely automatable (should they so choose).

Did a Chatbot write an episode of South Park?

Yes, ChatGPT helped write an episode of South Park. Season 26 Episode 4 includes a classroom scene, in which students are using the chatbot to write essays and send text messages. This is more than an on-screen gag. The ending credits explicitly show that the episode was ‘written by South Park creator Trey Parker, and ChatGPT

Will TV be AI generated?

There is a high probability that TV will be significantly AI generated in the coming years. As a result, Hollywood is waging an intellectual property war on actors in the film industry. Using deep learning to recreate the likeness of actors without their permission is a hotly contested issue in the entertainment industry. LLMs (Large Language Models) have already capture the interest of the users worldwide, with generative AI like ChatGPT from OpenAI.

One thing’s for sure – the creative process is changing. Not only for episodic content like Trey Parkers South Park, but for the entire industry. Emotions aside, if people keep watching after production costs are cut, the precedent will be set. So, would you watch generative TV?

Steve is an AI Content Writer for PC Guide, writing about all things artificial intelligence. He currently leads the AI reviews on the website.