IN­DEX

If ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence wrote our films, they wouldn’t be that dif­fer­ent from what we al­ready have.

Fashion (Canada) - - Contents - By Greg Hud­son

If AI were to start script­ing Hol­ly­wood movies, would you even no­tice?

For an in­dus­try that has be­come so de­pen­dent on com­put­ers to gen­er­ate its im­ages, you’d think Hol­ly­wood wouldn’t dis­like tech­nol­ogy so much. But for Tin­sel­town big­wigs, it’s a con­ve­nient scape­goat for fail­ing box-of­fice re­turns. They can crit­i­cize web­sites like Rot­ten Toma­toes for sab­o­tag­ing a film’s chances when it as­signs the flick a bi­nary Fresh/Not Fresh rat­ing. The web­site has the temer­ity to say a movie is bad just be­cause a ma­jor­ity of film crit­ics did. The nerve. And while hat­ing on Rot­ten Toma­toes is like get­ting mad at the CBC when your favourite hockey team loses, now sci­en­tists have moved be­yond cre­at­ing pro­grams that ag­gre­gate film re­views and are cre­at­ing neu­ral net­works that write films. Or, al­most.

These ar­ti­fi­cial neu­ral net­works (based on the struc­ture of bi­o­log­i­cal neu­ral net­works) ac­tu­ally re­ar­range and rein­ter­pret data sam­ples in or­der to cre­ate some­thing new. Janelle Shane, a re­search sci­en­tist based in Boul­der, Colo., trains neu­ral net­works to “write un­in­ten­tional hu­mour as they strug­gle to im­i­tate hu­man data sets,” she ex­plains on her blog, ai­weird­ness.com. “Well, I in­tend the hu­mour,” she adds. “The neu­ral net­works are just do­ing their best to un­der­stand what’s go­ing on.” Last year, af­ter they were fed a Wikipedia’s worth of film ti­tles, they came up with a list of yet-to-be-made films of their own. Screen­writ­ers aren’t go­ing to lose their jobs any time soon, but there are def­i­nitely some film ideas on Shane’s list that show po­ten­tial.

PI­RATES: A FIGHT DANCE STORY Stu­dio note: Fi­nally, a film that mixes the once pop­u­lar pi­rate genre with capoeira. It’s about time.

CAN­NI­BAL SPY II Stu­dio note: Nat­u­rally, a first Can­ni­bal Spy would help, but with se­quels be­ing so pop­u­lar these days, it’s hard to imag­ine this one un­der­per­form­ing.

LEG­END OF THE EX­PE­RI­ENCE OF SCAR­LET FREE­DOM DAMAGEBOO

Stu­dio note: You won’t be­lieve what hap­pens to Mrs. Free­dom Damageboo un­til you ex­pe­ri­ence the leg­end of the ex­pe­ri­ence your­self!

THE LEG­ENDS OF WORLD PLANET Stu­dio note: This ti­tle is ar­guably a bit vague, but when has Hol­ly­wood ever shied away from broad sto­ries?

TREE SCREAM­ING Stu­dio note: It’s an en­vi­ron­men­tal al­le­gory—the same way Get Out was about race. Only, in­stead of be­ing a ra­zor-sharp cul­tural com­men­tary, this is about trees that scream.

A VAM­PIRE TIME FOR MON­STER Stu­dio note: Pos­si­bly a fran­chise. Maybe A Zom­bie Time for Mon­ster is next? Or, A Mon­ster Time for Vam­pire?

WILD BAD PARTY 109 Stu­dio note: The prob­lem with The Hang­over movies was that they didn’t make enough of them. Get ready for all 109 in­stal­ments of the Wild Bad Party saga.

THE STORY OF THE STAR TREK: THE SE­CRET OF THE STORY OF THE STAR WARS Stu­dio note: A film that’s so ex­cit­ing, it has a plot twist right there in the ti­tle.

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