We are one step closer to Skynet or in Warner Bros’ case, The Matrix. You know it’s their property and all. Despite coming in a distant second to the juggernaut known as Disney, Warner Bros does not want another Justice League on its hands. Or The Kitchen. Or Shaft. Or Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the story last week that the studio does not want to rely solely on its creative teams anymore and has signed with LA AI-driven startup Cinelytic, to help in deciding which films to move forward with.
“The system can calculate in seconds what used to take days to assess by a human when it comes to general film package evaluation or a star’s worth,” said Tobias Queisser, Cinelytic’s founder.
And WB isn’t the only studio choosing adding AI to its development team. Ingenious Media (Wind River), Productivity Media (The Little Hours) and STX (Playmobil and UglyDolls) have all signed deals with Cinelytic, which had been in beta testing for several years before officially launching in 2019.
So how will this AI be used? Will The Matrix’s Agent Smith be sitting with the execs? The AI completes the menial tasks executives normally have to do, as well as calculating better parameters for packaging, marketing and distribution decisions, like when to release the movie.
The concern here is obvious. Will be sacrificing creative films such as last year’s Queen & Slim, Moonlight or Get Out for Toy Story 15 meets Batman and Terminator?
“Artificial intelligence sounds scary. But right now, an AI cannot make any creative decisions,” Queisser said. “What it is good at is crunching numbers and breaking down huge data sets and showing patterns that would not be visible to humans. But for creative decision-making, you still need experience and gut instinct.”
We can see future meetings now – “Open the boardroom doors, HAL.”