TV show made entirely by AI is three to five years away, predicts ‘Slow Horses’ director

A television show made entirely by AI is just three to five years away, predicts the director of Apple TV’s Slow Horses.

As per Deadline, director James Hawes revealed that he’d spoken with legal teams at SAG-AFTRA and the WGA and took part in a poll with fellow directors and VFX workers where they explored the likelihood of a fully AI series, he revealed today.

He explained: “The best guess was three to five years. Someone will say, ‘Create a scene in an ER room where a doctor comes in and he’s having an affair with a woman and they’re flirting, and someone is dying on the table,’ and [AI] will start to create it. Maybe it won’t be as polished as we are used to but that is how close we are getting.”


He continued: “My worry is that if we don’t get up to speed with this then the AI-generated stories will come from elsewhere,” he added. “We need to take note and act on it now. Silicon Valley is way ahead.”

Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb
Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb in ‘Slow Horses’ – CREDIT: Apple TV+

He’s not the only director to express concerns about AI. Last year, Tim Burton described seeing recreations of his work by artificial intelligence as “disturbing”.

The director, who is known for his macabre visual style across films like Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas, recalled how he felt when seeing this style replicated by AI.

“They had AI do my versions of Disney characters,” he told Independent, in reference to a Buzzfeed article from July this year. “I can’t describe the feeling it gives you. It reminded me of when other cultures say, ‘Don’t take my picture because it is taking away your soul.’”

He added: “What it does is it sucks something from you. It takes something from your soul or psyche; that is very disturbing, especially if it has to do with you. It’s like a robot taking your humanity, your soul.”


Wes Anderson also spoke about how he rejects AI recreations of his work following a viral TikTok trend last year.

“I’m very good at protecting myself from seeing all that stuff,” Anderson told The Times. “If somebody sends me something like that I’ll immediately erase it and say, ‘Please, sorry, do not send me things of people doing me.’

“Because I do not want to look at it, thinking, ‘Is that what I do? Is that what I mean?’ I don’t want to see too much of someone else thinking about what I try to be because, God knows, I could then start doing it.”