As of late, AI has been making splashes in the creative realm. From AI TV to scripts to AI films, to a new Harry Potter chapter, artificial intelligence is proving to be more than just something that could take over the world someday. It’s not everyday that you hear of a movie being made by AI, but it’s happening. While it’s easy to think that creativity and artificially intelligent machines don’t belong in the same sentence, one look at the trailer to Impossible Things will leave you thinking just the opposite.
While the film itself received mixed reviews, the fact that an AI machine was used to create the premise of the movie and detailed exactly what users like in horror films and what should be used in the trailer in order to spark interest is quite remarkable. The AI told the filmmakers exactly what needed to be included in the plot in order to make it resonate with audiences based on the AI’s analysis of other horror films and their success with viewers.
Impossible things wasn’t the first film to feature artificial intelligence influence. The short film, Sunspring, was created for an annual film festival and was primarily written by an AI, which named itself Benjamin. The script with all of the dialogue and stage directions of the film was inspired by dozens of sci-fi films, some quite popular, which Benjamin was “fed” in order to create a script that would please its audience.
While the script as a whole doesn’t make total sense, if you watch with an open mind it definitely creates an eerie sense that something interesting just happened. Both of these movies prove that while AI is making strides that we only dreamed of thirty years ago, there are definitely a few kinks that need to be ironed out.
But with how far ‘thinking computer systems’ have come recently; it won’t be long before AI is fully emerged in the creative field. Just ask 20th Century Fox. They recently had the supercomputer, IBM Watson create a trailer for the upcoming thriller, Morgan. This trailer was completely produced by the supercomputer and was created from bits and pieces of the film that IBM Watson believed were the right moments to include in the trailer. However, a human editor was called in to make the six minutes of video IBM Watson chose for the trailer fit together coherently. But with the help from artificially intelligent machines, the trailer making process was shortened to 24 hours. Whereas, a human made trailer typically takes anywhere from 10 to 30 days.
While having an AI create a trailer or movie is amazing in its own right, having artificial intelligent machines use past trailers and movie clips, visuals, sounds, and composition in the same way a human would to produce a quality piece of visual storytelling is what is most interesting. A human would take into consideration what works and doesn’t. A human considers what viewers respond to the most and what they don’t. This same concept applies to how these AI’s are interpreting how to create the right trailer, movie, or song.
That’s right we’ve written songs in the title. A song called “Daddy’s Car” recently appeared on YouTube. The song was composed by Sony’s FlowMachines software and was written in the style of The Beatles. According to the caption, FlowMachines is “a system that learns music styles from a huge database of songs. Exploiting unique combinations of style transfer, optimization and interaction techniques, FlowMachines composes novel songs in many styles.”
The lyrics of the song weren’t written by FlowMachine however. Those were written by French composer Benoît Carré. The harmony and melody were all AI though. However, this isn’t the only song written by FlowMachines. Sony plans to release an entire artificially intelligent-composed album, with Daddy’s Car, in the next year.
But how about a podcast written by AI? Flash Forward is a podcast that sets up different scenarios about the future and discusses the possibilities of those panning out. The episode, “The Witch Who Came From Mars” was created by AI that was fed all of the futures mentioned in previous episodes along with two scripts from futuristic movies. While the script sent to the creator of Flash Forward was initially gibberish, she found a way to make it work and voila, you have the final episode of season two of Flash Forward.
Music and movies aren’t the only creative outlets AI has dabbled in. Take, for instance, the AI-written Harry Potter chapter that was released this year on July 31st – also known as Harry Potter’s birthday. While the creator, Max Deutsch, trained the algorithm in the first few books of the Harry Potter universe the chapter that was written didn’t come out as coherently as you might think – formatting was added in order to enable readers to follow along.
Artificial intelligence is certainly becoming more common in all aspects of our world. AI’s inclusion in the creative world shows just that. While AI might not be perfectly adapted in the movie or writing world, it definitely gives us a glimpse of a not so far off future.