If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
Ere Santos remembers that he once had to animate a fight between his character, the sidekick, and the hero of the film. Luckily, the hero's animator sat next to Mr Santos. Much like their creations, the two colleagues went to battle on how the interaction should work. Instead of drawing, these feature film animators create computer simulations based on physics. Mr Santos likens it to making a puppet that the computer will bring to life.
Success in the movie industry relies on a studio's ability to attract moviegoers--but that's sometimes easier said than done. Moviegoers are a diverse group, with a wide variety of interests and preferences. Historically, movie studios have relied heavily on experience when deciding to invest in a particular script--but this can lead to huge risks, particularly when investing in new, original stories. The iterative and complex process of matching stories and audiences is something that Julie Rieger, President, Chief Data Strategist and Head of Media, and Miguel Campo-Rembado, SVP of Data Science, together with their team of data scientists at 20th Century Fox, decided to clarify with data. Understanding the market segmentation of the movie-going public is a core function of movie studios.
Anyone who's watched "Bridget Jones's Diary" knows one of her New Year's resolutions is "Not go out every night but stay in and read books and listen to classical music." The reality, however, is substantially different. What people actually do in their leisure time often doesn't match with what they say they'll do. Economists have termed this phenomenon "hyperbolic discounting." In a famous study titled "Paying Not to Go to the Gym," a couple of economists found that, when people were offered the choice between a pay-per-visit contract and a monthly fee, they were more likely to choose the monthly fee and actually ended up paying more per visit.
Data scientists at 20th Century Fox and Google Cloud have developed machine-learning software that can analyze movie trailers and predict how likely people are to see those movies in theaters. A recent preprint research paper breaks down how the program, named Merlin, can now recognize objects and patterns in a trailer to understand movie scenes. Merlin can scan trailers and spot objects like "man with beard," "gun," "car," and decide whether the movie is an action flick or a crime drama based on the context in which those objects appear. "A trailer with a long close-up shot of a character is more likely for a drama movie," the study's authors write, "whereas a trailer with quick but frequent shots is more likely for an action movie." Merlin can use its knowledge of common tropes in trailers to understand how sequences of actions in trailers play into our expectations for genre films.
Neill Blomkamp has a question: "If you could break apart films and treat them a little bit more like software, what would that look like?" Whether it's blindly following Amazon Instant recommendations or waiting for a film to hit Netflix instead of buying it, video streaming has slowly ushered in a new cinematic landscape; the way we consume movies has changed drastically. Yet despite the impact of the internet on movie-watching, filmmakers' haven't truly changed their creative process. Cult sci-fi director Blomkamp wants to do exactly that. After District 9, Elysium and Chappie, the director set up Oats Studio, which has just released three short films -- Firebase, Rakku and Zygote (collectively titled Volume 1).