Future Decoded: How AI is Changing Media & Entertainment Sector

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Sunny Dhillon, Co-Founder, Signia Ventures

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming our lives in more ways than we can imagine. While many applications of AI have already found endorsement in the manufacturing and automobile sector, it is the enormous impact AI is having on the Media and Entertainment sector that has captured our imagination owing to the new technology’s real near-term applications for the industry. Sunny Dhillon, Co-Founder, Signia Ventures with $160m+ under management in his blog explains some of the most exciting examples to underscore AI’s power to change the way we consume entertainment and media.

Bedtime Stories will Never be the Same Again

Using AI, companies like Novel Effect are producing interactive voice content that summons a menagerie of sound effects to accompany a parent’s narration of the favourite story of their children. Now add to it the interactive hologram technology provided by companies like 8i, one would not be surprised seeing the children playing with interactive characters.

Thanks to companies like Earplay, which is building hands-free and eyes-free choose-your-own-adventure experiences for mobile devices, moms can relax after tucking their kids in the bed as an interactive audio story plays with her voice in the background.

See the Disneyland Come Alive

AI is emerging as the top contender in transforming the way we cherish our theme park fantasies. Imagine a semi-autonomous R2D2 droid built by Zippy.ai in Disneyland’s upcoming Star Wars Land. With its sidewalk-safe autonomous navigation technology, it could basically be a self-driving robot that’s safe around kids and families, giving wings to their imagination in a ‘futuristic’ world. Or think about Mickey Mouse talking and responding to questions in Disneyland in his recognizable chuckling voice. AI has the power to make all this possible by bringing our childhood memories to life.

Listen to News in Your Favourite Celebrity’s Voice

Voice-interactive AI like Siri and Alexa is already on its way to become the next big thing. However, companies Lyrebird are adding more capabilities to it by enabling it to borrow voices from celebrities. The company enables voices to be mimicked from the perspective of pitch, tone, and modulation. So, in future who wouldn’t love to listen to news read out by Taylor Swift or having their queries about the weather answered by the smooth timbres of Morgan Freeman. However, this technology has a flip side too as it was recently proven by the University of Washington where a digital Barack Obama was created with astounding similarities of speech and demeanour to underscore the real treat of fake videos influencing public opinion.

Escape the Post-Apocalyptic Earth

Applying AI to virtual reality has the potential to make almost every aspect of it more immersive and believable. Gaming companies like Rival Theory have already made strides in this space. Its Rain AI engine is being used by more than 100,000 game developers around the world. The 2016 Game Developers Conference saw a short film featuring an interactive VR character — Gary the Gull — built using the same platform.

Automation of Animation

Midas Touch Interactive has created a tool that automates the process for animating 2D characters. Pixar too is leveraging deep-learning techniques trained on “Finding Dory” to detect and iron out grainy frames in its productions.

Advertisers Will Know How you Feel

AI advances will help advertisers to know customer’s tastes or moods. Emotion and facial-recognition technology will allow content providers to select what you see based on how you’re feeling. There are companies like TVision that are already measuring the attention audiences pay to TV content by analyzing “actual eyes on screen”. The videogame company Flying Mollusk Studio has already used software to produce a psychological thriller game whose difficulty changes with the player’s level of fear.

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