Posted on May 3, 2018 by staff

Could AI write the next Hollywood blockbuster?


Artificial intelligence could soon be used to create Hollywood movies.

It might sound as far-fetched as the plot of Marvel’s latest blockbuster ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ but experts predict that AI technology could make the production of films instantaneous.

Infinity War is Marvel’s latest in a run of 18 movies based in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’, including Spiderman, Hulk, Iron Man and a slew of your favourite heroes.

This gigantic franchise has been 10 years in the making, beginning with ‘Iron Man’ in 2008 and now seems to be reaching its conclusion in a storyline which sees the whole world at risk of destruction.

But what if these movies never stopped? Panic not film fans because technology could be the answer.

A team of researchers from Yale University and Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute asked AI experts if artificial intelligence will be capable of penning best-selling stories and creating CGI scenes – and in short, the answer is yes.

Over 350 AI-based researchers were asked to predict when AI will be capable of seeing a short video of a scene, and then constructing a 3D model of the scene good enough to create a realistic video of the same scene from a substantially different angle.”

The experts collectively believe that this will be possible in the next 12 years. So, that’s the filming sorted – no more need for sets, actors, or indeed cameras.

The study also asked the experts when they expect the AI to be capable of penning a New York Times BestSeller and although they believe that we’ll have to wait until 2049 for that, people are already using AI to create original short movies.

AI, or in this case machine learning, has the capacity to analyse text and return a new, original piece of text which shares its characteristics – it’s just not very good yet.

In 2016 filmmaker Oscar Sharp and technologist collaborator Ross Goodwin built an AI for this purpose.

Fed with the scripts from hundreds of sci-fi TV and movie scripts, the AI wrote an original short film and accompanying song lyrics for its soundtrack.

The resulting sci-fi short doesn’t make much sense, but it does show that the process is already possible.

With a decade of Marvel Cinematic Universe to devour, could AI pen not just one, but infinite Infinity Wars created specifically to entertain you?

Madhuban Kumar told BusinessCloud: “Look at Netflix and House of Cards. They originally created the series from analysing their audience preferences and the characters spawned from there.”

Kumar has helped raise over $1m in VC and angel funding for her company, which makes AI-based predictions for financial service and logistics.

“It was pretty remarkable in those days when the first series came out as it was completely data driven. They would have used machine learning as they analysed billions of data points.”

However director and editor Paul Wright doesn’t see such a bright future for AI in the entertainment industry.

“As someone who dabbles in VFX, anything that can be procedural generated to save time is a massive boon, but it takes a real flesh and blood human to make a Full Metal Jacket, Detroit, or Shindler’s List,” he told BusinessCloud.

“Even in Marvel movies, there are nuances in characters that I don’t think AI could grasp. The contradictions that exist within a Tony Stark, or even a Thanos, I think, may prove too much.”