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South Park's AI Storyline In Season 26 Had Fans Extremely Impressed

For decades, the on-point social commentary in "South Park" set the golden standard for animated comedy series. Although the show is known for having some of the most controversial episodes on TV, Trey Parker and Matt Stone's brainchild has managed to remain true to its roots and the formula that has earned it millions of dedicated fans around the globe. One of the reasons for "South Park's" continued relevance over the years is that all of its new episodes pertain to hot, contested issues that most people in the U.S. have a strong opinion on. 

Season 26 is no different. One of its most recent episodes, "Deep Learning," takes on the use of AI tools, which have taken the world by storm. Its story revolves around Stan using ChatGPT to text his girlfriend and moves on to having the software write his school essays, which sparks a conflict with Cartman. The episode culminates in Stan's speech about the dangers of AI tools in the hands of large corporations. In the credits, ChatGPT is actually listed as one of the writers alongside Parker, and "South Park's" fans absolutely loved it, as evidenced by their comments reacting to the episode.

Viewers loved ChatGPT's involvement in the episode

As evidenced by the comment section under the clip of Stan's "Deep Learning" speech posted on YouTube, "South Park" fans were impressed by how ChatGPT was used to write parts of an episode about itself. @BB-te8tc appreciated the irony, saying, "I love the implication that Stan's speech about the dangers of corporate-owned AI were likely written by a corporate-owned AI." Others were surprised by the last moments of "Deep Learning," like @nikobelic25000, who wrote: "This was brilliant. I honestly didn't expect the ending to be written with ChatGPT." 

Some commented on "South Park's" exploration of the issues plaguing AI-human interactions. @lordparoose48 posted, "The way Wendy was indirectly emotionally connecting to an AI thinking it was Stan while he wasn't even taking time to read the responses." Even those working in AI were impressed by how its flaws were depicted: "The way they poked fun at the way AI chatbots can sometimes go off the rails and deliver some seriously weird and unexpected responses was spot-on (...) As someone who works in AI and chatbot development, I found this episode both hilarious and uncomfortably accurate," said @ctohaz.

The unapologetic, straightforward approach to all sorts of issues is one of the best and worst things about "South Park." On the one hand, it makes for some hilarious comedy, but at times, the series was deemed outright offensive. "Deep Learning" seems to keep the show's signature style while providing a nuanced perspective on a polarizing issue.