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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

We Prompted an AI Generator to Create a Musical and It Just Wrote STARLIGHT EXPRESS

by Kendall Davis. @hahakendalldavis.

SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. – In an exercise to test the creative limitations of the popular artificial intelligence program ChatGPT, engineer Harold Castillo prompted the generator to create an original musical. The result was an exact reiteration of Starlight Express by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe.

“The generative pre-trained transformer, ChatGPT, used all available information to spawn a 'brand new' two-act musical,” Castillo said while making his Casio calculator watch spell ‘boobs.’ “The result was... an identical, word-for-word, note-for-note script of the 1984 show about horny trains.”

Cynthia Gillis, a composer and lyricist based in San Francisco, expressed her concern regarding artificial intelligence’s potential impact on artists.

“When I first heard about these computer programs creating artwork and writing stories, it really got me worried about artistic integrity and the future of the art form," revealed Gillis, playing air piano the entire time. “But when I realized the best it could do was a musical where all of the actors wear roller skates, I knew I had nothing to worry about. Why would my art be threatened by a horny Thomas the Tank Engine?”

Jocelyn Howe, Ph.D, a developer at ChatGPT, also commented on the AI program’s creation.

“It really is an interesting outcome,” noted Dr. Howe while removing an atomic wedgie from her head. “You see, the program took information from every musical ever written and studied the structure, verbiage, and content matter of these previous works. It then used that knowledge to synthesize a musical. The result was a somewhat lackluster and honestly confusing show about... horny trains. I have run it over and over with slightly different prompts, and every single time it writes Starlight Express. I can’t figure out if the show is that formulaic, if it’s the pinnacle of musical theatre, or if ChatGPT is just a huge fan.”

At press time, Elon Musk, one of the co-founders of ChatGPT’s parent company, OpenAI, was ready to weigh in on the astonishing results.

“I don’t know what everyone’s going on about - Starlight Express is my all-time favorite musical. I just love those horny trains.”


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