By Dr. Lance B. Eliot, AI Trends Insider
A ground-breaking conference on AI in Showbiz took place on January 12, 2017 in downtown Los Angeles and attracted an amazing mix of high-tech AI trailblazers that synergistically combined with entertainment industry visionaries and leaders. Per featured panelist Jon Kraft, original co-founder of Pandora and its former CEO, the timing is now ripe for AI to enrich the field of entertainment. He cited the grand convergence of readily available AI tools, vast amounts of data, and a budding ecosystem that fuses together consumer demand for smart content with budding entrepreneurs and the established entertainment industry legends.
Efforts are underway to develop AI that can ascertain which movie script will become the next blockbuster film, doing so by using machine learning to analyze scripts that have already led to top money makers over the years. Notching up that use of AI, there are efforts to even have AI that writes scripts, rather than relying on human script writers. Discussions included how AI might be used to create highlight reels or trailers for a movie and automatically be able to splice together the key moments of a finished film to make for the most effective teaser for prospective audiences. AI is being explored across the entire spectrum of entertainment content creation and beyond, including gauging emotional reactions during content consumption and being able to learn what makes people laugh, cry, and experience a deep emotional connection to entertainment content.
Besides the trailblazing talks, there was also a Pitch Fest of both seasoned and novice entrepreneurs. Startups that were hopeful of getting financing made fast pitches to a panel of notable AI and entertainment industry luminaries (including this author). The budding entrepreneurs came from radically different domains or world perspectives, ranging from entertainment pros that wanted to take a stab at infusing AI into showbiz versus those coder entrepreneurs firmly planted in the AI camp that are trying to make inroads into the entertainment space. Each founder had an opportunity to present their pitch and then be grilled by the judges as to the potential scalability and practicality of their entertainment and tech AI proposals.
A former NFL football player pitched his approach of using Virtual Reality and AI to become the next great dating app. Citing figures that in the United States there are 54 million adult singles, he pointed out that though 90% of those singles have tried various dating apps that there have only been about 5% that end-up with a committed relationship due to making an online connection. He has partnered with a virtual games firm and with NASCAR and Live Nation to seek development of a VR app that would immerse you and your date into a virtual setting to enjoy an actual real event, doing so during your “date night” without having to leave the comfort of your living room. This might reinvent the infamous first date.
The pitches tended to be beyond the norm, and yet even if the startup ideas aren’t yet practical, they got the creative juices going for the AI and Showbiz attendees. Molly Lavik, creator of the #AIShowBiz conference emphasized that this event was the world’s first conference dedicated to the intersection of AI and entertainment, and that over time she’ll continue doing the conference on an annual basis and the talks and pitches will increasingly showcase the present and future of how AI will transform the nature of entertainment. Imagine that we might one day see a broadcast of the prestigious Academy Awards in which AI systems using natural language processing give their acceptance speeches, presumably also thanking the AI developers that sparked the creation of AI in showbiz. That day might be sooner than we think.