Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

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Avatar 2 Surpasses Spider-Man at the Box Office

The long-awaited sequel proved the skeptics wrong and scored big at the movie theaters

James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water, surpassed Spider-Man: No Way Home in box office records and now stands at No. 6 of all time highest grossing films. The sci-fi visual wonder is the sequel to the first Avatar installment, which was released in December 2009. Critics doubted whether the franchise could rebound in popularity after a 13 year absence in the movie theaters, atop further concerns about the relevance and viability of moviegoing in the “pandemic era.” The doubters were quelled by the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, and with Cameron’s blockbuster success, might be silenced for good. Despite ever increasing streaming options, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and Peacock, people still seem interested in Read More ›

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Retro wave, 80s. Old tv with antenna with neon light. Top view, minimalism

The Graying of the Art — and AI — World

Why is so much modern media made up of rehashes and remakes?

The world of popular art (TV, movies, etc.) has a problem. I would even go as far as to label it a crisis. The problem is that the art world is becoming increasingly derivative. There are some points where it is obviously derivative—every movie is a remake, and every TV show is a reboot. We are getting the same stories regurgitated instead of novelty. However, there are also more subtle ways that this is happening.  TV comedies work largely by including inside jokes from previous TV shows.  One of the most popular writers of the 20th century was Louis L’Amour. What I think made L’Amour’s stories so great is that he could draw from a vast amount of personal experience. He could write about a lot Read More ›

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Video on demand service on smart TV

HBO Max Cuts Cigarette from Iconic Movie Poster

Modern tech gives entertainment companies the power to “retro-edit” material. How far could it go?

Last week, HBO Max, the Warner Bros.-owned TV streaming platform, cut more than just their costs — they’re cutting back on cigarettes too. Disneyland used to Photoshop out cigarettes in portraits of Walt Disney: https://t.co/7n3oBWzMI7 pic.twitter.com/zP58u8xBG5 — PetaPixel (@petapixel) October 12, 2016 Keen observers noticed that HBO Max removed the cigarillo from the iconic movie poster from “McCabe & Mrs. Miller.” Now, McCabe is awkwardly holding up two fingers with no smoking device in hand. They also scrubbed cigarettes from several other film posters, including “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean,” “There Was a Crooked Man,” “Fallen Angels,” and “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” HBO hasn’t yet disclosed its reasoning for the cuts. Maybe they thought people Read More ›

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Scene clapperboard in front of two actors

2: AI Can Write Novels and Screenplays Better than the Pros!

AI help, not hype: Software can automatically generate word sequences based on material fed in from existing scripts. But with what result?

“AI rites reel gud!” Seriously, the idea is not new. Back in the 1940s, George Orwell (1903–1950) thought that a machine could write popular novels so long as no creative thinking was involved. Thus, in his 1984 police state world, one of the central characters has a job minding a machine that mass produces them. In the 1960s, some film experiments were done along these lines, using Westerns (cowboy stories). At the time, there were masses of formula-based film material to work with in this popular genre. But what does the product look and sound like? In 2016, Ars Technica was proud to sponsor “the first AI-written sci-fi script:” As explained in The Guardian, a recurrent neural network “was fed the Read More ›

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Screenwriters’ Jobs Are Not Threatened by AI

Unless the public starts preferring mishmash to creativity

An AI-generated film is not an altogether new idea. Rule-based expert systems were used to write short plays over a half century ago, in the early 1960's. Then, as now, don’t expect creativity. That is not what AI does.

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