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AI can fix Game of Thrones’ ending, says OpenAI co-founder

‘Imagine if you could ask your A.I. to make a new ending that goes a different way and maybe even put yourself in there as a main character or something.’

Daenerys giving serious side eye as smoke billows behind her in season 8 of Game of Thrones Image: HBO
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Are you one of those people who’s still upset about the ending of Game of Thrones? OpenAI co-founder and president Greg Brockman has a solution: Use ChatGPT to write your own different ending. And while you’re there, insert yourself into the story.

Brockman appeared on a panel in Austin, Texas at SXSW 2023 where he talked about “the impact of generative AI,” including that of ChatGPT and AI image generator DALL-E. He extolled the usefulness of programs like ChatGPT in entertainment, saying the software is similar to a group of six assistants who are “eager” and “never sleep” — they do the “drudge work” so you can be the director. And entertainment is one field that, Brockman says, could be “amplified” by generative AI.

“You think of today, where everyone watches the same TV show, and maybe people are still upset about the last season of Game of Thrones,” Bruckman said. “Imagine if you could ask your AI to make a new ending that goes a different way, and maybe even put yourself in there as a main character or something.”

He says this makes entertainment “interactive,” though some might argue it’s the opposite: The interactive part would be writing your own self-insert fanfiction in which you end up adjacent to the Iron Throne as a third wife to Daenerys Targaryen, a position for which you get a pet dragon to ride. Anyway, in the spirit of trying, Polygon asked ChatGPT to write some Game of Thrones fanfiction that makes Daenerys Targaryen the hero, “teaming up with Jon Snow to battle White Walkers, who are invading King’s Landing.” I also asked it to add me into to story, riding a dragon. Here’s what it said:

As the sun rose over King’s Landing, Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow led the charge against the White Walkers. The two heroes fought side by side, with Daenerys riding atop her mighty dragon, Drogon, and Jon wielding his Valyrian steel sword, Longclaw.

As the battle raged on, the White Walkers seemed to have the upper hand. But then, out of nowhere, Nicole Carpenter appeared, riding her own dragon, which she had secretly hatched and trained.

Together, the three dragon riders unleashed a fierce barrage of flames on the White Walkers, pushing them back and weakening their forces. Jon and Daenerys fought valiantly on the ground, cutting down any White Walkers who dared to approach them.

Finally, the last of the White Walkers fell, and King’s Landing was saved. Daenerys and Jon embraced, both grateful to have made it out alive. And as for Nicole, she flew off on her dragon, ready for whatever adventure lay ahead.

In the end, Daenerys Targaryen was hailed as the true hero of Westeros, having saved the realm from the ultimate threat. And while Jon Snow remained by her side as her loyal partner, Nicole Carpenter had made her own mark on history, riding a dragon into battle and proving that even the most unlikely heroes can rise to the occasion when their world needs them most.

There are some gaps in the logic and storyline here, but I’m glad to have become the hero in Game of Thrones. And, of course, to ride a dragon that I secretly hatched and trained.

I generated this fanfiction using ChatGPT-4 in the free research preview. ChatGPT-4 was released on Wednesday; OpenAI’s CEO said it was the “most capable and aligned model yet.”

ChatGPT-4, like the others, uses algorithms to predict patterns to create sentences and other content; it doesn’t necessarily write. “This chatbot responds to prompts with extraordinary fluidity — it gives immediate plausible-sounding answers to questions, provides expert-sounding explanations, and can write longish texts with stylistic flourishes,” Data & Society researcher Jenna Burrel wrote in Poynter. “But while its abilities might seem uncanny, the explanation is comparatively simple: What made ChatGPT possible is the global move of everyone and everything online — the mass digitization of everyday life, resulting in the extraordinarily broad text corpus that is the internet. ChatGPT sucks up all of that text and uses it to predict patterns, to devise sequences of words.”

For now, I remain skeptical about the interactivity that Brockman describes. But I do want to ride a dragon.