Aside from being a Jeopardy! champion, IBM’s Watson has held positions as a health care adviser, teaching assistant, and meteorologist to name a few. Now, America’s most famous artificial intelligence has lent its intelligence to Hollywood, composing a trailer for 20th Century Fox’s soon-to-be released sci-fi horror-thriller, Morgan.
Morgan is about what happens when technology surpasses our control. In the film, a team of scientists create an intelligent android named Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy), who possesses superhuman capabilities. Morgan learned to walk and talk in just one month. It was self-sufficient at 6 years old. Sometime later, Morgan intentionally injures a scientist in a temper tantrum, at which point a “troubleshooter” (Kate Mara) arrives to evaluate the android and determine if it should be terminated.
Fox approached IBM and asked if Watson could analyze the film and help create a trailer. To do so, the researchers first showed Watson the trailers of 100 horror movies and had the system analyze the visual, audio, and compositional elements of each scene to determine what elements made them tense, frightening, and thrilling. From facial expressions to tone of voice and lighting, Watson deconstructed the 100 source trailers like a first-year film student.
Watson then watched Morgan in its entirety and selected 10 scenes to compose the trailer.
To be sure, Watson wasn’t granted complete creative freedom. IBM Researcher and filmmaker Zef Cota offered some creative direction and editing — likely eliminating any unintentional spoilers along the way. Watson’s trailer isn’t quite as compelling as the official trailer, but it is a testament to the increasing capabilities of intelligent systems.
Even more suggestive of the trend is Watson’s ability cut the trailer-making process down from a few weeks to just 24 hours, according to IBM.
Fox released its Watson-made trailer yesterday. The film is set to hit theaters tomorrow.
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