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Warner Bros. Using Artificial Intelligence To Decide Which Movies To Make

It seems Warner Bros. is taking data analytics out of their own hands and into those of an artificial intelligence system. The 96-year-old company has faltered in recent years due to allegations of executive misconduct and critical business mistakes. Warner Bros. has also bungled the development of some of their most valuable IPs, such as DC superhero films like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.

It’s no secret that Warner Bros. has struggled to catch up with Marvel at the box office, but it’s surprising just how far behind they really are. Justice League, a movie that was supposed to be the pièce de résistance of the DCEU, ended up costing the studio upwards of $100 million. Just shortly after the release of the film, rumors swirled suggesting Warner Bros. knew Justice League would fail in its current state, yet the studio decided to go ahead with its release anyway. It’s worth noting that Warner Bros. seems to have found a superhero diamond in the rough with Joker, a film that grossed more than $1 billion and has since gone on to lead several awards shows in nominations.

Now, as reported by THR, Warner Bros. is foregoing traditional market research and instead employing the services of Cinelytic’s artificially intelligent project management system. Cinelytic’s AI system was founded four years ago and has been in testing since. After securing additional funding in 2018, it now seems that the AI is ready to get to work. In describing the function of the AI, company founder Tobias Queisser said, „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.

Essentially, Cinelytic’s new system will expedite the research process for Warner Bros. film division, but the AI will not make any final creative decisions. Instead, it will only determine a probability of success for films based on their budgets, brand, and associated talent. Queisser continued talking about the current state of the company’s AI, saying, „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.

It’s a bit reassuring that AI systems like Cinelytic’s aren’t yet intelligent enough to replace humans fully, but that Orwellian future does seem all too imminent. On the other hand, it’s scary that in today’s world AI’s job is to determine what kind of movies people want to see. Of course, this process is strictly mathematical, but its end result (the movies we consume) is actually quite personal. AI may not be doing everything for us yet, but this decision by Warner Bros. shows it’s on its way to begin doing so.

Source: THR

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