Modern movie trailers are already cynical exercises in attention grabbing (such as the social media-friendly burst of imagery at the start of many clips), but they might be even more calculated in the future. Researchers at 20th Century Fox have produced a deep learning system that can predict who will be most likely to watch a movie based on its trailer. Thanks to training that linked hundreds of trailers to movie attendance records, the AI can draw a connection between visual elements in trailers (such as colors, faces, landscapes and lighting) and the performance of a film for certain demographics. A trailer with plenty of talking heads and warm colors may appeal to a different group than one with lots of bold colors and sweeping vistas. Notably, the deep learning approach already appears to work in real world conditions.
The movie studio 20th Century Fox developed a machine learning algorithm that it's using to predict who will like new movies. The system, described in a paper published on the preprint server ArXiv in late October, analyzes and categorizes movie trailers based on the objects and people it detects in them. Other films with similar trailers, according to the algorithm, will likely appeal to similar audiences. For instance, a blog post about the algorithm details how it interpreted the X-Men film "Logan." After watching the trailer, the top four labels picked up by the algorithm were "tree," "facial hair," "car," and "man," which led the algorithm to recommend the visually-similar film "The Revenant," perhaps because of all the beards and forests.
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Say what you will, but IBM Watson is one resourceful supercomputer. We've previously seen the AI describe the contents of photos, predict the most popular toys during Christmas season and gauge your emotional state – all of that with an exceptional accuracy. Now IBM Watson has added yet another skill to its arsenal as it just learned how to make movie trailers. Earlier this week, 20th Century Fox trusted the supercomputer with the task to create the trailer for its upcoming sci-fi drama Morgan. Our new event for New York is focused on quality, not quantity.