IBM: Artificial Scare Tactics

Film company uses IBM’s Watson to create a high-impact movie trailer

To promote its latest sci-fi thriller, Morgan, 20th Century Foxworked with IBM to create a trailer edited by artificial intelligence.

Using Watson’s machine learning capabilities, the IBM Research system analysed horror and thriller movie trailers, before watching Morgan and suggesting the top 10 moments for an advert. According to the IBM researchers, Watson could model the scenes visually to determine whether it was happy, sad, tender, or scary.

The most appropriate scenes were then edited together by an IBM filmmaker, who added music and other creative elements.

The AI-powered advert tells the story of Morgan, a bio-engineered child who attacks her creators, and differs from the original, official trailer. You can see the ad, plus a brief explanation of how it was made from IBM scientists in the video, below.

Contagious Insight /

Thematic PR / Using an AI to create a trailer for a movie about AI is a pretty smart PR move. Not only does it generate press for being the first movie trailer powered by artificial intelligence, but it also firmly reinforces the genre and content of the movie itself. Plus, the interest around machine-generated creativity could also spur more people to watch the trailer, which might just make them want to see the film.

Artificial intelligence and creativity / As machine learning becomes evermore important for businesses in all sectors, we’ve started to see some very early examples of its potential use in creative industries. For example, The Next Rembrandt for ING Bank saw data scientists collaborate with art historians to create a ‘new’ portrait, drawing from the analysis of 168,000 fragments from the artist’s past body of work. A machine learning algorithm crunched the data, generating a 3D-printed creation that went on to stir a sizeable cultural conversation around the piece.

Debates are ongoing as to how much of an impact technologies like AI will actually have on creativity. But, still, it’s interesting to see a computer effectively generate an advert for an upcoming film. It gives us an indication of how machine learning may be applicable to the industry in the years to come.

(This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, an intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world).