×

Tribeca, IBM Launch Contest Seeking Ideas About Using Artificial Intelligence in Entertainment

Artificial intelligence has served as fodder for the entertainment biz for decades — from the sinister computer system HAL in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” to the sentient, fleshy robots of HBO’s “Westworld.”

Now IBM has teamed with the Tribeca Film Festival to encourage filmmakers and other creators to employ AI as part of the process of making movies, video games and other entertainment content.

At the 2017 fest, IBM and Tribeca are launching the “Storytellers With Watson: A Competition for Innovation,” inviting anyone in the U.S. to submit ideas on how they would apply the tech company’s Watson data-analysis and natural-language query system to a storytelling project, such as film, video, web content, gaming, augmented reality or VR.

Submissions, which will be accepted through May 18, 2017, should include a video up to 60 seconds along with a four-page pitch. A panel comprising IBM and Tribeca reps will review the submissions, picking five finalists based on creativity, impact potential, and technical feasibility. The grand-prize winner will receive a free trip for two to the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival including airfare for two within the U.S., a hotel room in New York, and two passes to the festival. More info is available on IBM’s “Storytellers With Watson” site.

“Since IBM Watson has been a big influence across many industries, we’re eager to see how our creative community will apply this technology to inspiring their own creative potential,” said Andrew Essex, CEO of Tribeca Enterprises.

To provide potential applicants a place to start, IBM worked with Tribeca to develop five use-case categories for using Watson: development; pre-production; production and post-production; audience experience and interaction; and marketing and distribution. For example, for screenwriting, a developer might create a script editor using Watson’s natural-language processing capabilities to read draft scripts to analyze tone, themes and other patterns a human reader might miss. In pre-production, according to IBM, someone could build a “cognitive location scout” that uses Watson Visual Recognition to analyze photos to determine a shoot location.

“Cognitive computing is driving incredible advancements in what humans and machines can do together, and one of the areas where we’re seeing this accelerate is within media and entertainment,” said David Kenny, senior VP of IBM Watson and Cloud Platform.

The judges who will pick the finalists and winner in the contest include: Paula Weinstein, EVP creative and programming, Tribeca Enterprises; Sharon Badal, Tribeca’s VP of filmmaker relations and shorts programming; and Rob High, VP and chief technology officer, IBM Watson; and Michelle Peluso, IBM’s chief marketing officer.

IBM’s Watson has been used in multiple industry sectors, including healthcare, education, retail, law and insurance. In creative fields, Watson applications have included a “cognitive music” project in collaboration with music producer Alex Da Kid and a “thinking sculpture” created with design firm SOFTlab inspired by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.

More Digital

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Ends Long Strike Against Ad Agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty

    SAG-AFTRA has ended its 10-month strike against Bartle Bogle Hegarty after the advertising agency agreed to sign the union’s new commercials contract. The union instructed its 160,000 members in September not to accept any work for BBH, which had been signed to SAG-AFTRA’s commercials contracts since 1999. The strike came two weeks after BBH publicly [...]

  • FaceApp is displayed on an iPhone,

    SAG-AFTRA Warns Members About FaceApp Terms of Use

    SAG-AFTRA is warning its 160,000 members about the “overreaching and invasive” terms of use for the FaceApp mobile application. FaceApp, developed by Russian company Wireless Lab, uses neural network technology to automatically generate transformations of faces in photographs. The app can be used to make users appear older, younger, or change gender. The terms include [...]

  • J. Cole

    Apple Music Launches 'Rap Life' Playlist

    Apple Music announced the launch of “Rap Life,” a new global playlist focusing on contemporary rap artists and culture. It replaces the former “The A-List: Hip-Hop” playlist. Said Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: “We flipped it to dig deeper into into the lifestyle [and to] keep pushing the culture [...]

  • Billie Eilish

    ARRI, Mobile TV Group Back New Venture Revitalizing Streamed Concerts

    A new venture looking to bring a fresh approach to live-streaming concerts has gotten the backing of hardware heavyweights ARRI and Mobile TV Group. Wide+Close is launching with the mandate of shooting music performances with film cameras and cinematographers in order to give the content a more cinematic feel. “We want to take concert filming [...]

  • Fortnite Battle Royale

    How 'Fortnite' Fans Can Earn Loot by Watching YouTube Videos

    Epic Games and YouTube have teamed up with a special offer for “Fortnite” players — giving players of the popular battle-royale game rewards when they watch “Fortnite”-premiered content on the video platform. The catch: You have to watch at least 20 minutes of “Fortnite” special content or live esports broadcasts to receive the loot. Under [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Plans to Expand to Brazil, Other Countries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Roku plans to expand to multiple new territories in the coming months, Variety has learned. One of the first new markets for the company will likely be Brazil. An international expansion could help Roku grow its customer base, which in turn should lead to growing advertising revenues. Roku executives have been hinting at plans to [...]

  • Google Stadia Pro to Include 1

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service to Include Free Monthly Game

    Google has been busy sharing additional details about its upcoming game streaming service Stadia, clearing up some confusion in the process. Stadia’s pro subscription tier, which will cost $10 per month, won’t be a Netflix-type subscription service. However, subscribers will get free games at the rate of about a title per month. That’s according to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content