You may have heard it frequently said that there is a finite (and really quite small) number of original stories, and that those we find in contemporary books and movies are variants on these basic themes. The count of core plot ideas varies from scholar to scholar. Some say there are as few as 7 basic stories. Others offer a higher number, but still suggest that it is impossible to be truly original with plot structure. The mind loves wat the mind loves, and good writers give us what the mind wants.
Aired 11 years ago (on Apr 14, 2004) the 5th episode of season 8 of South Park explores a hilarious conceit that has not gone unnoticed by the Computational Creativity community: can a machine develop original ideas of its own, such as the plots for Hollywood movies? Could these ideas be as good (or bad) as human-generated ideas? Who should be the arbiters of quality? And would the fact that a machine is producing these ideas colour our perception of their quality, making them seem more or less original?