A company like Disney no doubt looks at thousands and thousands of pitches across a variety of mediums every year. But the days of a human editor evaluating stories to determine whether or not they think they will be popular may be coming to an end, thanks in part to Disney Research.
A study is being conducted using Artificial Intelligence to examine short stories to see if they will be popular. The A.I. is not looking for the next Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Rather, it’s simply trying to gauge whether or not a piece will be popular with a large number of readers.
(Think Stephen King or James Patterson, and not Hemingway.)
From the release…
The researchers developed an AI that evaluated separate regions of each story — including the question that prompted each. They created a network that looked at the regions interdependently and another network that took a holistic view, looking for how the meaning of the events and story regions emerged from the entire story. In each case, the AIs made predictions of which texts would prove most popular with readers.
So what would the practical application be of a “story picker?” Well, if an entertainment company like Disney wanted to pick a movie screenplay that would become a box office success — if not a critical one — something like this could help them hedge their bets. It could also help beleaguered submissions editors in publishing and at Hollywood studios sort through the “slush pile” and pick out stories that have the best chances of success.
So it’s quite possible that the future of movies and publishing will be determined by machine. But at least they still need humans to keep producing films, right. Right??
Not so fast. While we’re still several years away from movies completely written and acted by computers, there has already been attempts at filming movie screenplays written by computer. Sunspring was a short film written by an A.I. named Jetson (who later decided it wanted to change its name to Benjamin) and it even had a follow-up… starring David Hasselhoff.
Well, okay. It’s no Moana. Or even a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. But look for computers to have more of a say in dictating our entertainment choices in the years to come.
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