In the future, I envision artificial intelligence (AI) becoming so advanced, that it could not only write a screenplay but convert it into a fully computer-generated (CGI) movie that looks 100% real. And it could do it all instantly—for free.
This might appear to be a nightmare scenario for writers, actors, and directors, but I don’t think human artists will ever be completely put out of work. Even if AI gets so proficient that it’s as good as humans or better, there will always be a place for humans to create art as well. In fact, I think the most likely scenario for the future will be humans using AI to help them create their art.
For someone like me (a writer), I could write a novel and use an AI program to automatically convert it to a screenplay (or vice versa), and then enter that screenplay into a program to instantly convert it into a movie. There could be options to tweak the algorithm to your preferences. You can choose the directorial style (25% Kubrick, 25% Spielberg, 25% Tarantino, and 25% Coen Brothers, etc.), and you can choose your cast, with every actor and actress from the history of cinema (dead or alive) available. Or you can create your own actors, be they combinations of others, or an original creation.
Likewise, directors could enter their favorite writers into the program and have the AI create a screenplay for them to direct. Actors can do the same thing, as well: use AI to create the perfect role for them to act in. And composers can use AI to create a script and movie for them to score. Every artist in every field could eventually use AI to do every job except their own, allowing them to add their unique human touch.
AI won’t so much replace humans as complement them. Sometime in the future, be it decades or centuries, anybody will be able to create a professionally produced movie almost instantly. It will be akin to self-publishing books today, in the respect that there will be an influx in the number of movies produced because anybody could easily do it at virtually no cost. That would make it harder to stand out, but as always, the cream will rise to the top.
In the future, the hard part won’t be getting people to read your screenplay. It will be getting people to watch your (Oscar-worthy) movie.