AI & Entertainment

As millennials, our focus, obsessions and interests meander. A lot.

Based on the amount of screen time we had as kids, the amount of time we’ve had Video on Demand (VOD) services like YouTube, Netflix and the like as adults and the level of content consumption we like as a personal prerogative, have all designed us to have short-ish attention spans about individual subjects.

These days, stand up comedy has taken that spot for me. Amazing sets from Indian comics like Vir Das & Karunesh Talwar to American greats like George Carlin and Dave Chapelle, brought happiness, contentment and scratched that ‘need of good content’ itch just right.

The thing is, a lot of American standup is available on YouTube. Over time, YouTube must’ve realised that – “This dude likes American Stand-up. Let’s feed him more of the same”

And one day I found this:

Created by Netflix and Keaton Patti, this little 3 and a half minute set was developed by getting a bot to watch, hear and process over 400,000 hours of standup. Since I’ve worked with some writer bots before I’m assuming this is the best (and most surreal) version with some augments in the script. The video is probably not AI and was made from scratch to add comedic value.

What does that mean for the industry? Are performers redundant now?

Ok, first of all why so extreme? Just trying to make a point man – jeez.

No, they’re not redundant and they probably won’t be for some time. But what could happen would be a rise in 3 things:

  1. Experimentation: Like the short clip by Netflix mentioned, a lot of lateral minds will start experimenting with the creative process. And since everything in entertainment often starts from writing, there will be a rise in Author bots. One of my favourite AI written shorts is called Sunspring. Directed by Oscar Sharp, this little short was originally released in 2017 and shows the beginning of what a complete AI based script could be.

  1. Contextual Support: One of things AI will contribute to is open up point of discussion during planning stages. Our MBA classes or bosses have always told us about the magic of brainstorming. It’s the same with producing content. AI will give enough random but relevant thoughts based on the subject matter hand. This allows creators to go beyond their own minds and augment a story.
  2. Lower costs: Some tasks in entertainment are already managed by AI. Content discovery on VoD platforms we discussed earlier are bots suggesting content to you based on your interests and, uh, extra curricular activities. This saves the platforms millions of dollars in advertising costs to get you to spend as much time as you can on their platforms. Additionally, music production, one of the most delicate components of quality content these days has taken the AI route too. AIVA technology creates complete compositions to suit their clients. They made this one for NVIDIA.

Didn’t sound all “beep boop” did it? Composers like Hans Zimmer would charge hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars for tracks like these.

So what can I do about this? Is there a way I can start using AI to make and market content?

Many. Like a lot

Here’s three:

  1. Google offers an AI based poetry engine: VerseByVerse. Yours truly uses this to write the biography of a spoon on Instagram.
  2. Shortly.Ai helps your write articles and content like this one.
  3. Synthesio helps you create video content without the need of actors, sound booths and recording studios.

Hmm. So what’s next?

Really, Expected a better response than ‘hmm’ but okay :/.

If you follow cultural movements, you’ll know that the entertainment sector is more experimental today that it ever has been. From Deadpool’s self awareness to Anurag Kashyap and Anil Kapoor making one of freshest movies I’ve seen in a while.

Meta is in. Meta is here.

Emerging filmmakers and content creators will test the boundaries of human imagination. Although the subject matter of AI itself has been shown beautifully by Spielberg’s AI and Asimov’s I, Robot, we’re still only scratching the surface with non human intelligence playing a part in the mainstream. Personally, I hope we see an actual AI in a movie one day.

Stay curious. stay secure.

See you next week

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Jai Bahal
Jai Bahal - Co-Founder @ NAVIC
NAVIC aims to educate, inform and train students, professionals and entrepreneurs about the future of communications. NAVIC has collaborated with SCoRe for its flagship course: EVOLVE – A first of its kind curriculum that discusses hyper-relevant subjects like Meme Marketing, Trolls and Bots, AI in communications and more.

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