Check Out This Science Fiction Film Written by Artificial Intelligence

Monday, June 13, 2016

Check Out This Science Fiction Film Written by Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

Using a neural network created screenplay, film maker Oscar Sharp and AI researcher Ross Goodwin have created a film that is both bizarre and fun to watch. 'Sunspring' features the acting talents of Silicon Valley's Thomas Middleditch delivering some very...interesting lines.

We have seen films written by artificial intelligence before, but in "Sunspring," written by a recurrent neural network called Benjamin, we get one that is both fun and confusing to watch. The film is available below.

Benjamin, "the world’s first automatic screenwriter," is an  long short-term memory (LSTM) recurrent neural network. This type of AI is often used for text recognition.
Check Out This Science Fiction Film Written by Artificial Intelligence
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To train Benjamin, Ross Goodwin, an AI researcher at New York University, fed the AI with a large amount of science fiction screenplays he found online—mostly movies from the 1980s and 90s. Benjamin analyzed the films, learning to predict which letters tended to follow each other and from there which words and phrases tended to occur together.

Benjamin learned to imitate the structure of a screenplay, producing stage directions and well-formatted character lines. The only thing the AI couldn't learn well were proper names, because they aren't used like other words and are very unpredictable. Goodwin took over and changed all the character names in the screenplays to single letters. That is why the characters in Sunspring are named H, H2, and C. In fact, the original screenplay had two separate characters named H, which confused the humans so much that Sharp dubbed one of them H2 just for clarity.

With lines like,"I need you to explain to me what you say," and "I think I could have been my life," Sunspring is quite hilarious to watch, especially thanks to the performance from Silicon Valley's Thomas Middleditch.

Director Oscar Sharp made the movie for Sci-Fi London, an annual film festival that includes the 48-Hour Film Challenge, where contestants are given a set of prompts (mostly props and lines) that have to appear in a movie they make over the next two days.

Sunspring written by AI

Sharp's longtime collaborator, Goodwin supplied the movie's AI writer. As the cast, which also includes Elisabeth Gray and Humphrey Ker, gathered around a tiny printer, Benjamin spat out the screenplay, complete with almost impossible stage directions like "He is standing in the stars and sitting on the floor."

Sharp randomly assigned roles to the actors in the room. "As soon as we had a read-through, everyone around the table was laughing their heads off with delight," Sharp told Ars Technica. The actors interpreted the lines as they read, adding emotions and actions, and the results are what you see in the movie.

Somehow, a slightly garbled series of sentences became a tale of romance and murder, set in a dark future world. It even has its own musical interlude (performed by Andrew and Tiger), with a pop song Benjamin composed after learning from a corpus of 30,000 other pop songs.

SOURCE  Ars Technica

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