A new movie that depicts AI making problems for humanity was released this week. It’s called Morgan. While it’s certainly not the first such movie—Hollywood has been profiting off of our reservations about AI for decades—this was the first movie to have a trailer created by AI. In keeping with the theme of the film in which a corporate risk management consultant must make the difficult decision of whether or not to kill an artificially intelligent being, IBM decided that they would consult their deep learning machine, Watson, to create the perfect trailer for the film.
Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence in which machines are programmed to analyze massive amounts of input to search for patterns. To teach Watson to create a trailer for a horror movie, IBM had it “watch” 100 classic horror movies so it could understand what horror is, and what components in a film triggers a fear response in humans. Not only did Watson conduct a visual analysis of everything that took place on screen in these 100 films, but it also had to do an audio analysis to hear what was said and a composition analysis to understand how the various elements of the audio and visual came together to make a successful horror film. Finally, Watson was ready.
Making the trailer
Next, IBM fed Watson the entire film, Morgan and instructed it to do the same kind of analysis that it had performed on classic horror films. Through this analysis, Watson pulled out a number of scenes, quotes, and music and assembled them into a trailer. The researchers were interested to see which scenes Watson used that human editors had used for their trailer as well. They were also interested when Watson selected elements from the film that human editors had not because it suggested that AI might have a different understanding of fear than humans do. Perhaps if Morgan is successful enough for a sequel, they’ll let Watson direct the whole thing.
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