An eye for AI

07.09.2016 Artificial Intelligence : IBM Watson : Creativity

US – As it continues to reveal its many capabilities, the artificially intelligent supercomputer IBM Watson has created its first trailer for a horror film.

  • Watson created the trailer for 20th Century Fox’s latest thriller, Morgan, which examines what happens when AI takes on a life of its own
  • The computer scanned the entire film for sentiment to determine the qualities that would make a suspenseful trailer

IBM Watson has been a chef, a craft brewer and a smart toy, but now the thinking power of the AI computer is going to Hollywood. To promote the launch of its AI thriller, Morgan, film studio 20th Century Fox approached the IBM Watson team and asked them to create a trailer that would entice film-goers.

First the machine learning system studied the data of hundreds of horror and thriller trailers to determine the qualities normally used to make them effective. It then scanned the entire film to determine emotional sentiment, finding moments of action and suspense, and selected the 10 moments it believed would make the most suitable trailer.

This is where humans stepped in and edited the film together. As John Smith, an IBM fellow at IBM Research, notes: ‘It is still very difficult to think of how a computer might be capable of original thought – something that is essential in creativity.’

The Big Picture

The biggest question for artificial intelligence is whether it can ever be truly creative without the help of human thinking. For more, see our column Cracking Creativity.

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