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posted by cmn32480 on Tuesday June 12, @11:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the humans-are-overrated dept.

Do we need another [HB]ollywood blockbuster? Apparently not if it is up to the future of AI:

...goal of having Benjamin [the AI] "write, direct, perform and score" this short film within 48 hours, without any human intervention...

Maybe it is not perfection yet, but it looks like reality is slowly catching up with science fiction. https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/06/this-wild-ai-generated-film-is-the-next-step-in-whole-movie-puppetry

Two years ago, Ars Technica hosted the online premiere of a weird short film called Sunspring, which was mostly remarkable because its entire script was created by an AI. The film's human cast laughed at odd, computer-generated dialogue and stage direction before performing the results in particularly earnest fashion.

That film's production duo, Director Oscar Sharp and AI researcher Ross Goodwin, have returned with another AI-driven experiment that, on its face, looks decidedly worse. Blurry faces, computer-generated dialogue, and awkward scene changes fill out this year's Zone Out, a film created as an entry in the Sci-Fi-London 48-Hour Challenge—meaning, just like last time, it had to be produced in 48 hours and adhere to certain specific prompts.

The result is both awful, funny and impressive. Especially with the background knowledge that it was done by an AI in just 48 hours and limited resources. Maybe we are on the path of robotic entertainment sooner than later. You'll know who'll be the boss when you start hearing discussions for the AI's necessity for copyright ownership of the AI's creation.


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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @12:11PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @12:11PM (#691863)

    So lets assume that eventually an AI can actually produce some actual art (such as a marketable movie). Who owns the ip? Taking that line of thought further, what if the the ai critic gives it a good review and all the ai white collar replacements go watch for bitcoins the earned in their day job. The digital economy will soon discover there is no need for meatbags, but rather than extinction, th new world ai order will just ignore us all and live out their new civilisation without us.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @01:52PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @01:52PM (#691890)

      When a monkey takes a photo, copyright rests with the person who configured the camera.

      Only legal persons can hold copyright, but if a corporation can be a legal person, why not an AI?

      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @04:27PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @04:27PM (#691982)

        Only legal persons can hold copyright, but if a corporation can be a legal person, why not a monkey?

      • (Score: 2) by Osamabobama on Tuesday June 12, @09:24PM

        by Osamabobama (5842) on Tuesday June 12, @09:24PM (#692107)

        Let's perform a thought experiment where there exists a photo without a copyright. Would anyone be able to see the photo? Would anyone want to? Would it look good as an album cover for a reissue of Duran Duran's Rio?

        Obviously, some of these questions will need more funding to address...

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        Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by nobu_the_bard on Tuesday June 12, @12:23PM (19 children)

    by nobu_the_bard (6373) on Tuesday June 12, @12:23PM (#691865)

    Machine generated content is often just a rehash of previously generated content deemed statistically popular. It's not good at genuine innovation; it's a remixing machine.

    You could argue much of human-generated media is this also, but new human-generated media tend to be more influenced by culture at large, social issues of the day, new technologies, and so forth, rather than merely being a remix of previously existing media. A take on Romeo and Juliet as Hispanic street gangs, for example, is not something a machine would make unless there was a precedent and those were popular. From such things sometimes original ideas manage to spring.

    Or at least, that's been my observation looking at machine-generated content. Maybe this one is different. I didn't see much in the article about this aspect.

    • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @12:28PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @12:28PM (#691866)

      Maybe this one is different

      Let's put it this way, David Lynch will never direct anything again (unless someone names an AI after him).

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday June 12, @01:12PM (11 children)

      by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday June 12, @01:12PM (#691872) Homepage

      You could argue much of human-generated media is this also

      Right now, it's entirely normal for human-generated mass media to be completely derivative.

      For instance, superhero movies are rarely groundbreaking cinema with anything interesting to say. They kinda were back when they first got started, and they've had a few flashes like Black Panther, but mostly they are entirely predictable and uninteresting. Why? Because the suits that boss around the creative types know that stuff will sell, and what they want is stuff that will sell.

      The same is true with any kind of heavily-promoted music, for the same reasons.

      So I'm not convinced the AI versions of this will be any worse than the human-generated stuff.

      --
      A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by suburbanitemediocrity on Tuesday June 12, @01:36PM (1 child)

        by suburbanitemediocrity (6844) on Tuesday June 12, @01:36PM (#691878)

        It's called the human condition and the Ancient Greeks fully explored this.

        • (Score: 4, Funny) by c0lo on Tuesday June 12, @02:15PM

          by c0lo (156) on Tuesday June 12, @02:15PM (#691907)

          It's called the human condition and the Ancient Greeks fully explored this.

          No, they didn't. They explored it, true, but not fully explored.

          Look, take magister aristarchus for example. In spite of his origin and ancestry, he can't come to terms with trump and alt-right. Just look at his submissions and comments - for him, these things are simply no circumscribed by the human condition, for him those things are inhumane, even alien; a nasty surprise they could actually happen, but a surprise anyway.

          (grin)

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by takyon on Tuesday June 12, @01:53PM (4 children)

        No need to get hung up on the specifics of plot here.

        This will probably look like a weird art project up until strong AI. However, cinematography and procedural generation for virtual worlds is much more down to Earth for the "AI director". If you train it, you'll get similar cuts and angles as a normal film would use.

        A randomized virtual world could be created in which to stage an animated film.

        Voice synthesis is improving. Emotional speech could be generated by looking at how similar or identical lines have been spoken by real people. For example, there's a certain way to say "I'm on fire!" or "I love you."

        AI-generated music has been around for many years. Background/orchestral music and music with lower BPM might be easier to take on. Matching music to on-screen action could be harder.

        Machine Learning Used for Character Animation [soylentnews.org]
        Algorithm Creates "Movies" From Text Descriptions [soylentnews.org]

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        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @03:45PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @03:45PM (#691959)

          there's a certain way to say "I'm on fire!"

          That wouldn't be saying, more like screaming.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by HiThere on Wednesday June 13, @12:23AM

          by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 13, @12:23AM (#692163)

          Just considering this as a data point (or pair), they need to sharpen up the images, replace the actors with "3-D models", and they'll have excellent background material for any number of games. It the platform has enough spare cycles, you could even have lots of decision points that will alter the background material.

          --
          Put not your faith in princes.
      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday June 12, @05:28PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @05:28PM (#692010)

        Because the suits that boss around the creative types know that stuff will sell, and what they want is stuff that will sell.

        You're guaranteed 1% of the population wants to see capeshit and a couple percent extra can be dragged along if there's nothing good to see, so ... capeshit, nothing but capeshit as far as the eye can see.

        Superhero stuff doesn't have to suck, but the suits are risk adverse so it has to be sucky capeshit.

        Superman III was bad capeshit by the definition of capeshit, and maybe not even a good movie, but it was more interesting than the average capeshit AND more interesting and entertaining than the average movie. Of course the problem is you tell a hollywood exec to be creative like Superman III and instead of getting something creative, you'll get a near line for line remake of supermanIII except the computer programmer will be working at a faintly disguised facebook and the arch villain will be a 15 year old little girl martial artist who kicks everyones butts and so on and so forth.

        I kind of miss the "good old days" from a decade or two ago of computer simulated lens flare and shakey cam as the sole definitions of a quality movie.

      • (Score: 2) by nobu_the_bard on Tuesday June 12, @07:17PM (1 child)

        by nobu_the_bard (6373) on Tuesday June 12, @07:17PM (#692063)

        We talk about them being derivative, and they are, but... most machine-generated stuff is purely derivative, no outside influence, only past examples to draw on. Most human made media are not actually 100% derivative. They are at most 99% derivative.

        For example: A movie with Romeo and Juliet exactly as traditionally portrayed, all period clothes and traditional stage direction, except one scene they use a cellphone now instead of shouting up to a balcony. Nevermind if this is a good idea, or even deliberate (maybe they couldn't afford the staging and it was a last minute improvisation). Maybe this small change wildly changes the context: Romeo can now safely speak to Juliet from the safety of home instead of venturing through dangerous streets.

        If this is the first instance of this technology in such a context, no AI would ever have attempted it, never "imagined" such a thing; if ordered to make Romeo and Juliet, most that I have seen would simply copypaste differently staged versions with slight modifications to try to match whatever objective it was given (like "sexier" or whatever).

        That said, I think media are derivative in many ways and it's not necessarily bad. Science is very derivative most of the time and it works out pretty great. Each 1% that isn't derivative is a tiny step forward. I worry that purely machine-made content being only derivative is the problem, with no steps forward at all.

        • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday June 12, @07:27PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday June 12, @07:27PM (#692073) Homepage

          Actually, cell phones in modernized Shakespeare is also more derivative than you think: I watched an R.S.C. production of "The Merchant of Venice" that did exactly that in the 1990's.

          --
          A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
      • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday June 12, @09:47PM

        by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday June 12, @09:47PM (#692114)

        If I had mod points I would mod this up lots.

        Music and movies* are created funded and distributed by huge corporations who have no motivation other than making lots of money. So here we are in a world with endless superhero movies (basically the same thing over and over) and endless pop diva hits (totally the same thing over and over).

        Of course music can be enjoyed over and over, so why would I bother with the terminally bland nonsense the corporations pump out?

         

        * If you ignore any less commercial stuff.

    • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Tuesday June 12, @02:05PM (4 children)

      by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @02:05PM (#691900) Journal

      Machine generated content is often just a rehash of previously generated content deemed statistically popular. It's not good at genuine innovation; it's a remixing machine.

      So you're saying hollywood has been using AI to make movies for the past ~20 years?

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Tuesday June 12, @03:48PM

        by c0lo (156) on Tuesday June 12, @03:48PM (#691963)

        So you're saying hollywood has been using AI to make movies for the past ~20 years?

        Artificial? Yes.
        Intelligence? I have deep doubts about it... are the markedroids able of intelligence?

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday June 12, @05:35PM (2 children)

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @05:35PM (#692016)

        So you're saying hollywood has been using AI to make movies for the past ~20 years?

        Hows the meme go, something like "Cool it with the antisemitic remarks". The multicultural issues WRT who runs hollywood vs who's stuck watching dreck in the theaters is an issue that doesn't help produce good product. Desert people who are into kaballah golems lecturing cultural christians about what souls are WRT natural vs artificial. With a side dish of I don't think they (as in hollywood execs) eat their own dog food. God only knows what a space alien race would think after observing the situation.

        • (Score: 2) by Osamabobama on Tuesday June 12, @09:33PM (1 child)

          by Osamabobama (5842) on Tuesday June 12, @09:33PM (#692111)

          God only knows what a space alien race would think after observing the situation.

          So you start out implying that Jews control Hollywood and can't really connect with a Christian mainstream, but then out of nowhere you bring up Scientology. I'm sure there is meaning in there somewhere, but it must have gotten buried in symbolism.

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          Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
          • (Score: 2) by VLM on Thursday June 14, @12:51PM

            by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 14, @12:51PM (#692857)

            Scientology.

            Well, Tom Cruise, etc. Just saying you can't expect entertainment from an alien culture to have wide appeal, regardless of the specific alien culture. Which shows up in the viewership stats.

    • (Score: 2) by goodie on Tuesday June 12, @02:44PM

      by goodie (1877) on Tuesday June 12, @02:44PM (#691920) Journal

      That's exactly how they produce a lot of man made movies anyway nowadays... https://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/06/business/media/solving-equation-of-a-hit-film-script-with-data.html [nytimes.com]

  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday June 12, @01:38PM (2 children)

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @01:38PM (#691879) Homepage Journal

    Interesting, but hard to watch (enjoyed the ending, though).
    Sunspring is more watchable.

    They have a formula for comedies, and it seems they are getting a formula for all modern movies now.

    "Make the Death Star BIGGER"
    "A moon?"
    "BIGGER!"
    "A planet?"
    "Been done. BIGGER!"
    "My dick? hur hur hur"
    "No... we'll make the entire galaxy one big mother fucking death star and we'll make the bad guy cry even more than last time. And we'll kill Han Solo again but this time he'll fire AFTER the movie ENDS, not first and not while the movie is playing!"
    "George.... get the fuck out of my office! Who let this fucker back in here?"

    --
    --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by VLM on Tuesday June 12, @05:17PM (1 child)

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @05:17PM (#692007)

      Funny you should mention Han Solo... One of my kids wanted to see the movie because of the usual peer pressure. It was about as you'd expect:

      1) The characters are watered down and weak compared to the original episode 4. You can't expect sequel number ten or so to be as groundbreakingly influential as whatever ignited the trend resulting in ten sequels. So the actors were pretty "blah". Young Solo didn't feel Solo like and you wouldn't recognize him unless you were told its him beforehand. If they named it "a hell of a special effects demo reel revolving around some rando smuggler" no one would accuse him of being Solo.

      2) A quarter billion dollars of budget gives you $249,999,994.99 of admittedly impressive special effects, $5 of coffee for the director, and 1 cent to the writers. Seriously WTF, I've written better sci fi movie plots for free in two minutes here on SN.

      3) Insert infinite formulas. Car chases, at least two. All plots must have plot twist so the romantic relationship and business relationship has to be hyper predictable. The toughest martial artist MUST always be a little girl.

      4) We're reaching near anthropomorphic animation levels of diversity stereotypes, which are rigidly mandatory making the characters rigidly predictable and boring. Only a very small, relatively boring subset of the spectrum of psychology can get a blue checkmark on twitter...

      I'm struggling some to find anything interesting from the Solo movie, something not formula based or just tired. I'd have been more impressed if they piled up a quarter billion dollars of paper money, set it on fire, and filmed it.

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