Did AI Write Dem Ringz of Power?

The Dark Herald is suspicious. Not deeply suspicious. But a little.

I had suspected that an AI generator came up with some of Rings of Power’s more cringe-worthy dialog.

Finrod: Why does a stone sink? Because it cannot look up.

That line is exactly the kind of thing an AI generator comes up with. The words can be made to sound like wisdom by an actor trying his damndest but give it any kind of sapient thought and it falls into the uncanny valley.

But I didn’t think the whole thing was written that way.

But those AI guys I chatted with are convinced that a new Amazon AI wrote the entire thing. That any human involvement at all was only there to sand off edges that were just too rough.

The big tell for them is the number of things that are produced by a mind that simply doesn’t know any better. Like Galadriel going for a swim in the middle of the ocean or the townspeople giving up their easily defendable castle to move back to their completely indefensible town. It was something that happened and it had dramatic impact, of a sort, but again taken as a whole the concept falls into the uncanny valley. Every episode had something like this in it. Adar’s rousing “brothers and sisters in our own land” speech was weird and out of place when applied to orcs. And of course “Feed me the meat and give it to me raw.” Every single episode was full of things like this.

Then there were all of these incongrous and conflicting events, that frequently had me yelling, “didn’t you read your own damn script?” Individual events sound plausible in isolation but can’t be turned into a coherent structure when taken as a whole. Mostly because the AI isn’t looking for that problem. And the Bad Reboot guys may not have been allowed to correct it. I could understand a couple of frustrated Hollywood nobodies being willing to sign a suicide before reading NDA if it got them something made and they could take credit for it. A high-level failure is still high level, people will be returning their calls.

Was that the real point of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power just a big experiment by Amazon to see if an entire mega hit could be created by AI?

I couldn’t possibly say, because I didn’t watch one single second of it despite being an inveterate Tolkien fan who had read The Silmarillion before finishing high school. As well as, of course, the trilogy and the Hobbit enough times to wear out the white books that came in the gold boxed set in the early ’80s.

But it does make one wonder. Because if Amazon hasn’t tried it yet, someone is going to do so soon.