AI Can Now Tell You Who Will Sit On The Iron Throne!
Artificial Intelligence is one of those few things which were mere fiction at first, but are gradually becoming a reality today. Think about your Google Assistant, Alexa and other smart devices powered by Artificial Intelligence and you know what I mean.
Among the myriad use cases of AI, one particular use case might change the way you envision the surprises and fun- at times- sad twists in your favorite movies and TV shows. That is the use of AI algorithms for predicting movie outcomes, to creating scripts and even in storytelling!
So how can AI algorithms revolutionize the entertainment industry? Is a machine learning algorithm superior to Hollywood elites in predicting the performance of movies before release? Also, do you really need AI to enhance storytelling on your favorite shows? There are some questions which will be answered as you read ahead.
Predicting the Next Death in GOT
Game of Thrones is one of the few shows that give their viewers extreme anxiety about the story unfolding ahead. But what if you had an AI algorithm that did a better job than theorists for predicting the death of another beloved character?
Well, students from the Technical University of Munich did exactly that way back in 2016 with an AI application. The AI Program employed machine learning algorithms to feed on data about Game of Thrones from all Wikipedia sources of the show.
Upon feeding all of this data, the AI algorithm successfully predicted the resurrection of Jon Snow before the show’s Season 6 airing. Fast-forward to 2019: the program has now predicted some of the deaths to take place in the final season of GOT (Potential spoilers ahead!!).
The machine learning algorithm developed by the students at TUM predicts Bronn as the character most likely to meet death in the final season, followed by Gregor Clegane, Sansa Stark and Bran Stark.
Predicting the Success of Movies Better Than Experts
How often have you wondered before leaving to watch the latest movie, whether it would be really worth the investment? Or perhaps if it turns out to be a flop?
In a world where people require nearly-unlimited sources of entertainment, it is hard to find good shows worth binge-watching. Perhaps we are reaching a time where finding good shows or movies would be akin to finding a needle in a haystack.
But let’s come back to the present. If you happen to be associated with the Entertainment industry or happen to be following it closely, you would understand the anxiousness producers face before their work gets released. In contrast, viewers face the same anxiousness when they invest their time and money to watch a movie, the qualities of which they’re not too sure about.
Unless you’re releasing the next movie of the Star Wars of the Transformers’ franchise, or are going to watch another Marvel Superhero movie- there’s no surefire way to determine whether a movie turns out to be successful or bomb at the box office.
Perhaps an AI algorithm can solve this problem! Scriptbook is a machine learning algorithm that lets you know whether a planned movie would fail or succeed by only analyzing its script. The developers behind this algorithm have made a few tall claims about the accuracy of their program.
The machine learning algorithm of Scriptbook analyzed script of the movie “Passenger” in 2015 and predicted it to earn a $118 million revenue at the box office. It turns out, the movie’s actual revenue figures were around, if not exactly at the mark- at $118 million!
This example of such a use case with AI begs a question- why would you want to rely on an AI algorithm to predict the fate of a movie instead of consulting a Hollywood expert? The answer is fairly simple. An expert would rely on his experience, memory, and understanding of the industry to give an answer, but human memories aren’t closely as structured and permanent as that of an AI.
An AI algorithm powered could develop experience and understanding nearly equal to that of an expert simply by feeding itself with boatloads of data.
On the surface, it seems that the battle here is won by the AI algorithm. But here’s another fact. Over a decade-and-a-half ago, no expert believed that movies made on comic-book superheroes could garner such popularity as they have today. Even an AI algorithm wouldn’t have made such a prediction at a time.
The reality is that no matter how much data we feed to an AI algorithm, they may still turn out to be inaccurate due to the fickleness of human emotions. This fickleness is perhaps differentiating AI and human intelligence more than anything else.
However, what I really think would be true is a future where an AI algorithm could support a human expert and help provide feedback to creators on their scripts; filter out the better ones to give viewers the quality of entertainment they expect and live for.
Can AI Outsmart Creators in the Entertainment Biz?
There have been many doubts about the use of AI over the years. From Mark Zuckerberg to Elon Musk, to your old neighbor using a classic 2000s cell-phone, everyone complains how AI is going to take jobs away and render human skills obsolete.
The recent developments related to AI in the entertainment industry raises more suspicions about the same. A short film called “Sunspring” debuted at the Sci-Fi London Film Festival in 2016. So many movies are premiered at film festivals, what could have been different about this one? Well, this particular movie’s screenplay was written by an AI bot.
What was the result? The movie exceeded expectations and attained a rating of 5.5 out of 10 on the IMDb platform. This isn’t too bad when considering the fact that there are thousands of movies written by humans which achieve much lower ratings than this one!
But before you get your hopes too high, or get nervous about the potential of AI- let it be known that this movie had some glaring issues– some of which turned out to be hilarious. For instance, one of the dialogues of this movie is “I know it’s a consequence. Whatever you need to know about the presence of the story, I’m a little bit of a boy on the floor.” I won’t bother talking about the context because the dialogue didn’t really have one.
What’s more interesting is that this movie got a sequel, again written by an AI which you can find on YouTube.
But while it may be too early to expect an AI algorithm to churn out an Oscar-winning script, it’s hard to argue its utility as an assistant to human creators. Think about a future where a highly creative screenwriter comes out with an excellent script for a movie, and the emotions of each line are brought out beautifully through soundtracks created/selected by an AI!
Artificial Intelligence doesn’t really seem to be the villain it’s made out to be when you think about it as a helping hand. A great example of this was visible when McKinsey collaborated with MIT to create Machine learning algorithms and models to analyze content and determine its emotional state.
Using AI models and Artificial Neural networks, the collaborators built a project that analyzed any form of content- video, text, or images- and ascertained whether they conveyed a positive or negative emotion.
Tools such as these can be incredibly useful in creating applications for machine learning that make the work of humans easier rather than replacing them altogether.
So What Lies Ahead for AI in the Visual Entertainment Scene
As of the present, AI algorithms are largely responsible for the choices you make for binge-watching on platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. In the future, their role is expected to penetrate further inside the space and we’ll likely more strange movies with AI-written scripts, nominations for award shows being assisted by AI-powered filters, and more algorithms to spoil your favorite shows!
The present day is ripe for opportunists to invest in products and services that accelerate the use of AI in the entertainment industry. So if you’re an entrepreneur looking to build the next big thing, perhaps something as successful as Netflix or IMAX in the cinematic & visual entertainment space, now is the best time to hire machine learning experts and get started on the startup project of your dreams!
AI Can Now Tell You Who Will Sit On The Iron Throne! was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.