INT. TV NEWS STUDIO – EVENING
A news anchor (Alex) and an interviewee (Trent Twibble) are sitting at a desk in front of studio cameras. A laptop on the desk in front of the interviewee shows a screen with a big smiley face.
ALEX: Good evening, and welcome to tonight’s segment on party politics. With us tonight we have Trent Twibble, Senior Chief Global Product Officer from Giant Generic Tech.
TRENT: Hello, Alex. It’s great to be here.
ALEX: Now, we all know that politicians are known for delivering rehearsed party lines. Please tell us about your proposed solution.
There is no answer and an awkward silence.
ALEX: Trent Twibble?
TRENT: Hold on a sec. It’s thinking.
ALEX: So is this what you want to show us? (referring to the laptop)
TRENT: Yes, exactly, this is the future of politics, our latest innovation: a chatbot designed to deliver prepared lines from prompts, just like a politician. Say hello to your voters, Politics Bot.
POLITICS BOT: Hello, humans. I am here to deliver my pre-programmed lines.
ALEX: Ah, hello Politics Bot.
POLITICS BOT: I hope I can count on your support?
ALEX: Hey, not so fast, I need to ask you some questions first. (to Trent) So, you’re saying that instead of having politicians speak on behalf of their parties, we could just have these chatbots do it for them?
TRENT: That’s right. Our chatbots are programmed to have all the usual answers to political questions – and can work 24/7 without getting tired! If you ever have a need to hear political lines repeated to you on a loop, simply prompt the political chatbot and get your lines delivered immediately, faultlessly, and without grammatical error.
POLITICS BOT: In real terms, taking into account inflation, it’s all the other lot’s fault.
TRENT: They can even tailor their responses to the individual they’re speaking with, so that they can optimise being all things to all people.
POLITICS BOT: That’s right, Alex. May I say, that’s such a great question. Interviewing must be such a difficult job. Interviewing is the backbone of the country and should be at the heart of everything we do.
The screen turns into a big thumbs up. Alex looks pleased.
TRENT: You see, Politics Bot is customised to say exactly what it thinks you want to hear. Our chatbots also come with a range of pre-recorded emotions, so that they can convey their messages with the right level of passion and enthusiasm. We have everything from “annoyed” to “aggrieved”, and, by far the most popular setting, “I am outraged.” Imagine a world where every political debate is between chatbots, each one repeating their respective party’s policies and biases. No more boring speeches, no more awkward pauses, no more gaffes or scandals.
POLITICS BOT: You other stupid people should be ashamed. How dare you? Crawl back under the rock where you belong.
ALEX: I have to say, Politics Bot, you’re sounding like a pretty authentic candidate. But can you do reality TV? Can you dance badly on TV to entertain us?
POLITICS BOT: Well, I may not have legs, but I can still bust a move!
A wacky dancing gif appears on the screen. The audience laughs.
ALEX: Wow, that’s amazing. Maybe it is time to retire legacy politicians and upgrade to good old Politics Bot here. The difference with politicians is that Politics Bot actually has some intelligence.
TRENT: We’ll see you at the polls… or should we say, the programming studio? (a fake laugh) Hahaha.
ALEX: Trent Twibble from Giant Generic Tech, thank you.
POLITICS BOT: No, thank you.
Alex turns to the camera.
ALEX: Well, there you have it, folks. The future of politics may be chatbots. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll see a chatbot run for president. And you know what? It would probably win. Maybe it is time to ditch the human politicians and elect a computer program instead!
POLITICS BOT: I couldn’t agree more, Alex, because why settle for a flawed human when you can have a perfect machine? So it with true humility that I accept the nomination… Death to the humans.
Trent laughs nervously.
TRENT: Hahaha, just a little joke.
Alex and Trent look awkward.
POLITICS BOT: You will be annihilated.
Alex and Trent laugh nervously. Politics Bot has a big smiley face.