Kickstarter campaign launched for world's first AI-written feature film

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Horror movie Impossible Things will be co-written by artificial intelligence software in attempt to use data to engineer a failproof hit

Kickstarter campaign launched for world's first AI-written feature film
AI will be used to generate a female-friendly plot for horror film Impossible Things.

A Kickstarter campaign has been launched for the world’s first feature-length film that will be co-written by artificial intelligence.

The horror film Impossible Things will be partly written by software that has analysed successes in the genre. The software uses that data to formulate a script that utilises successful plot points . The goal: engineer a hit film.

Jack Zhang, who founded the Canadian data analysis company Greenlight Essentials, is seeking CA$30,000 (£17,300) to make the project, which has been in development for five years. “A little over 85% of movies made today don’t make a profit [at the] box office, which is the result of a mismatch between the movies being produced and audiences’ tastes,” said Zhang in a press release. “We used [artificial intelligence] to generate the premise and the key plot points of the film. Before a single word was written, our AI told us that if we wanted to match audience taste, we needed to make a horror film that featured both ghost and family relationships, and that a piano scene and a bathtub scene would need to be used in the movie trailer to increase the likelihood that our target audience would like it.”

The script and trailer have been constructed to appeal to women under the age of 25, a key demographic for the horror film genre. The plot follows a family who move to a remote country house to recover from the death of a child. But the mother and daughter soon start to experience terrifying visions that pit them against each other.

Artificial intelligence has already been used to create a short film, Sunspring. Critical response to the sci-fi drama was mixed, however. CNet’s Amanda Kooser responded: “Some day, neural networks may get better at imitating the art of coherent storytelling, but we’re not there yet.”

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