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Who Wants to Write an Email review: AI gameshow is slow, uninspired and awkward

Dublin Fringe Festival 2023: An admirable scientific endeavour, but as a stage show it needs more innovation

Who Wants to Write an Email?

Lir Academy

Who Wants to Write an Email? is an interactive theatrical gameshow that sets out to be both a humorous spin on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and part of a research study assessing public awareness of artificial intelligence.

Its co-creators, Laura Allcorn, as the gameshow’s host, and Dr Jennifer Edmond of Trinity College Dublin, as a rather authentic AI expert, lead the show, which involves setting an audience member a multiple-choice challenge to see if they can anticipate what ChatGPT might write from a given prompt.

In one example, the contestant must select the chatbot’s most flirtatious email to Paul Mescal to ask for a date. “Ignite the Night? Paul, I Dare You,” the subject line reads. One can only imagine the actor’s reaction on returning to his alma mater to find such antics.

The prompts and ridiculous situations generate some laughs, but ultimately the word game feels slow, uninspired and at times awkward. Had this show opened when ChatGPT was brand new, late last year, it would have been enlightening, but with so many creatives jumping to incorporate the technology, it feels like a drag. Elements of the show, such as the AI expert explaining how “aligned” the computer was to human’s wishes, felt convoluted.


The project, developed by the Adapt and Digital Humanties centres, will soon travel the country. It’s an admirable scientific endeavour, but as a stage show it needs to inject a bit more innovation of its own.

Continues at the Lir Academy, as part of Dublin Fringe Festival, until Tuesday, September 12th

Conor Capplis

Conor Capplis

Conor Capplis is a journalist with the Irish Times Group