Whether you realise it or not, we are entering a new and unprecedented age: one driven largely by artificial intelligence. Up until very recently, artificial intelligence was of a very narrow sort. Put simply, it could do certain things, like arithmetic, very well. But other things, like speech recognition and complex decision-making, were left to humans.
Nowadays, computing power has reached a stage where machines can learn for themselves – and the implications are sure to be felt in every area of the economy. This includes the entertainment industry – right down to smaller studios, who, with the help of small business loans, are now able to access worlds of ai-driven power previously denied to them.
We might think of entertainment as relying to a large degree on the creativity of those producing it. But every film, television and video game production also requires the performance of technical and administrative tasks, which artificial intelligences might soon be able to do even better than human ones. And even more artistic roles, as we’ll see, aren’t safe from being made obsolete by savvy machines.
So exactly how is artificial intelligence changing the way we consume entertainment? Let’s take a look.
One area of entertainment that’s been benefitting from advances in AI for years is the world of video games. When the player is tasked with dispatching a platoon of demon soldiers from hell in Doom, things are a great deal more engaging if the demons behave in unpredictable ways and adopt tactics to make life more challenging. If the opponent behaves in a scripted, idiotic way, then the challenge disappears, and so too does the fun.
AI-driven processes are finding their way into 3d rendering more generally, outside of videogames. Nvidia’s denoising, upscaling and ray-tracing software has found its way into real-time applications, as well as pre-rendered ones.
When a work of fiction is produced in a given language, its audience is limited to those who can understand that language. As such, a novel published in English might struggle to find an audience in China. That is, without the help of a professional translator. A good translator will not just translate the words of a sentence, but their meaning and implications, too.
Natural Language Processing enables filmmakers to automatically insert subtitles into their films. Moreover, analytics can determine exactly how long a given subtitle should appear on the screen, so that audiences aren’t given a preview of an upcoming line before it’s actually spoken.
We might think of sports broadcasting as something that’s best controlled by a human producer. Camera operators focus on the area of interest (usually the ball, or a player). But with the help of and AI, the action could be followed just as closely.
Artificial Intelligence can also help broadcasters to check footage for potential bad language and other adult content. Of course, this has sinister implications in countries run by authoritarian regimes, but it also can help smaller broadcasters to avoid fines and angry letters. Imagine a livestream, for example, where certain expletives are filtered out automatically by an artificial intelligence. In online streaming services like YouTube, an AI might be able to provide age ratings, and warning for specific kinds of graphic content.