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Science

Cinema and television in the hands of Artificial Intelligence?

Can you imagine that a robot is the one who makes the decisions about the scripts or actors of a movie? A Warner deal with Cinelytic opens the debate about the weight of AI in the Hollywood of the future.

During the last Oscar ceremony, the great winner was “Parasite” by Bong Joon-Ho.  A film that marked a before and after in the history of these awards, when it was done at the same time with the statuettes for Best Film and Best Non-English Speaking Film, in addition to getting the awards for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

But would the tape that this poker has achieved in the most important celebration of Hollywood would have been the same if it had been directed and scripted by an Artificial Intelligence? Would analyst robots have considered it a profitable product for its realization? These are questions that can be asked and that can change the way of making movies.

And, as the Hollywood Reporter published in its pages, the Warner film company has reached an agreement with Cinelytic to use its Artificial Intelligence system.

That’s right, can you imagine that a robot is the one who makes the decisions about the scripts or actors in a movie? Well, this is what can happen from now even if, for the moment, it all starts in a predictive analysis in the hands of AI.

Robotic advice

Although the agreement between Warner and Cinelytic may seem overwhelming, the information published by the Hollywood Reporter clarified that, in reality, AI will not have the last word and will not be able to decide anything definitive.

“Artificial Intelligence sounds scary but, at the moment, no AI can make creative decisions,” explained Tobias Queisser, CEO and co-founder of Cinelytic.

Its usefulness, therefore, is that “the system is able to calculate in a matter of seconds what a human usually takes days to estimate, whether it is the general evaluation of a film or the value of a star.”

In turn, Toni Kiis, vice president of Warner Bros., commented: “We have to make difficult decisions every day, and they affect what and how we produce and distribute films in cinemas around the world. And, the more accurate our data, the better we can involve our audiences. ”

And, according to Queisser, “what is good is to calculate numbers, break down large amounts of data and reveal patterns that would not be visible to people. But experience and instinct are still needed for creative decision making. ”

Success given in figures

But where does Cinelytic come from? The Artificial Intelligence system was founded by, indeed, Tobias Queisser, film producer and by nothing more and nothing less than a NASA scientist, Dev Sen.

In addition to Warner Bros., they appear as their customers Sony Pictures, STX or STX, among others.

It emerged in 2015 and, since then, has been in beta for three years. Its database has information on 95,000 films and 500,000 actors. And it is, from there, that they can calculate the profitability of a project and predict its possible reception with, according to them, an 85% success.

In fact, they can estimate, according to what they show on their website, how much the movie will collect at the box office, or on other platforms (television, physical formats, etc.), and according to the countries. And, even, to venture what impact will have to select certain celebrities to star in it, with an economic scoring system (the Cinelityc’s TalentScore).

In addition, AI not only performs a predictive analysis focused on profitability, but on how, when and where to achieve it: its tools can offer multiple circumstances and scenarios to know how it is better to distribute the film.

It should be said, however, that as media such as Hypertextual have, there are success stories that, perhaps, Cinelytic would not have seen as profitable.

The example is found in the films of the Marvel Universe, which were an overwhelming success at a time when the genre of superheroes was in the doldrums and some of its directors and actors were not examples of success or stood out in the subject.

Background and possibilities

But artificial intelligences have already made their first steps as consultants in the world of cinema and television.

For example, the Belgian company Benjamin ScriptBook assured that, with a script reading, its system could determine whether or not it will succeed; the American Pilot predicts the reception until a year and a half before the premiere and the Israeli Vault offers demographic data on its potential spectators.

Fox also used for years a system, the Nvidia Tesla P100, which with “machine learning” analyzes the reactions of the viewers of the trailers to offer predictions regarding the final result of the tape.

Another of the best-known cases of Artificial Intelligence is that of Netflix, a platform that, according to Bussines Insider in 2016, revealed that its system of personalized recommendations was valued internally at 1,000 million dollars a year.

The digital analysis system determined that his series “House of Cards”, which was inspired by another series of the 90s, a genre of political drama, was attractive and that, in addition, actor Kevin Spacey liked as the protagonist.

He also defined that David Fincher’s films were consumed by his subscribers and, even, that they wanted to see the whole season in one sitting.

And this is not the only example. The animated series “Love, Death & Robots”, of the same platform, offered a different and random order of chapters according to the user who was watching it, based on its recommendation algorithm.

And the cover of the “Stranger Things” series also differs depending on who is browsing the aforementioned platform.

Thus, robots are already in cinematographic art, although we were not aware of them: they have been suggesting content on platforms for years and advising the creators of Hollywood.

Simply, they are going a step further and, who knows, maybe an Artificial Intelligence ends up being a director and screenwriter of film or television.

(February 22, 2020, EFEREPORTAJES / PracticaEspañol)

(Automatic translation)

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