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An AI made a trailer for a movie about an AI

An AI made a trailer for a movie about an AI

All around the country, this holiday weekend people will be heading to their local movie theaters where they will almost certainly ignore the film Morgan, which opens this Friday. It wasn’t a great movie, but it did have an interesting concept.

Without giving it away, the story is about a group of scientists that create an artificial being. Things go sideways and the movie takes on a horror vibe. It hasn’t had a lot of marketing behind it – a few trailer here and there, the odd poster in a Cineplex hallway – so you’re forgiven if you’ve never heard of Morgan.

What Morgan really needs is something that makes it stand out, something that gets people talking. The word of mouth probably won’t do it, so how about turning to an AI to make a trailer about an AI?

Yeah, that’ll do it.

To create the world’s first trailer created by an AI, the filmmakers turned to IBM’s Watson computer. Watson is the best known as the computer that cheated on Jeopardy! by being too smart, and sent a bunch of unfortunate meatbags home heartbroken. But it is a versatile piece of hardware, and seems to be expanding into new fields.

To program Watson for the trailer creation, its programmers had it analyze 100 horror films. It went through the films scene by scene, then determined the triggers and reactions of fear. Once it understood the visual and audio cues that made people anxious and frightened, it “watched” Morgan.

Best not to dwell on the notion that programmers just programmed an AI with the tools on how to scare humans. Don’t think too much about it.

Watson analyzed the film and picked out some of the best moments that would tease the horror aspect without giving it away. It then added some creepy music and sound effects, and the results are below.

While films are an art and trailers are an extension of that, Watson does a decent job of creating a trailer that is creepy and interesting based entirely on the cues it saw. Shame the movie didn’t live up to it, but that isn’t the AI’s fault.

Check it out below.