The Jakarta Post
An artificial intelligence (AI) program has created a film almost entirely on its own, out of hours of old film that had been uploaded to it. (Shutterstock/Zapp2Photo)
A 48-hour film festival is difficult work, what with having to crank out a whole film in the span of days. But Oscar Sharp and his collaborator Benjamin added an additional challenge for themselves: Benjamin is an artificial intelligent (AI) program.
Wired reported that it began in 2016, when Sharp and fellow Google employee Ross Goodwin entered a 48-hour film festival. They entered the scripts of previous sci-fi movies into the AI in order to come up with an original script of their own. After winning a spot in the top 10 at the festival, someone during an interview asked Benjamin — which was then called Jetson — “What’s next for you, Jetson?”
It replied: “Here we go. The staff is divided by the train of the burning machine building with sweat. No one will see your face. The children reach into the furnace, but the light is still slipping to the floor. The world is still embarrassed. The party is with your staff.”
“My name is Benjamin,” it corrected, renaming itself.
Though Benjamin’s response was not entirely coherent, Sharp and Goodwin were inspired to continue.
“We wanted to do a lot of what Oscar and I talked about from the beginning, which is technology as augmentation rather than replacing humans,” said Goodwin.
While Sharp and Goodwin did not place at this year’s festival with their newest film, Zone Out, they left feeling a sense of accomplishment. Benjamin managed to create a film almost entirely on its own, out of hours of old film that had been uploaded to it, as well as green screen footage of actors Thomas Middleditch and Elisabeth Gray that was filmed for this purpose.
“What I was really trying to do is attempt to automate each part of the human creative process, to see if we learn anything about what it really is to be a human person creating films,” said Sharp. (sul/wng)