• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Entertainment industry gets an AI make-over

‘Nigerians most trusting of generative AI tools’

The use of technology in the world of entertainment has added to the production, distribution, and consumption of content in music, film and others. Artificial intelligence (AI) is taking that to a disruptive level, according to experts.

AI is transforming how music is produced and consumed, and a few musicians have moved from the manual creation of music to the use of AI in the music production process. This is now found in the use of song recognition tools and mastering platforms, composition applications, and highly individualised playlists.

Spotify, for example, recently announced the Spotify “DJ”, an in-app programming that is powered by generative AI and Sonantic’s voice-to-text technology offering recommendations of music to listeners in six distinct ways. The recommendations are either based on the listener’s latest songs in rotation and how they engage with each track, or past listening history. The recommended playlists also come from technologies like Discovery Mode, Throwbacks, Editors’ picks playlists like ‘Today’s Top Hits’, and trending music playlists to cater to Gen Z whose listening culture is mostly songs that are growing in popularity on social media platforms like TikTok and Reels.

AI can be used to compose new music and create unique mashups and robotic actors. The latest upgrade of GPT-4 by OpenAI is to be able to compose songs that can reduce writer’s block – a condition that songwriters experience – and make the music-making process faster.

However, there are worries that AI-powered music could replace human artists and songwriters in the studios, making them redundant or unemployed. But some experts dismiss these worries because AI cannot be as inherently creative as the musicians themselves. The experts do not also agree that AI music could lead to oversaturation among listeners due to repetitive sounds or styles. They note that people still decide their musical taste.

Jideofor Okoro, founder of Josplay, an African music metadata and intelligence company, said his platform’s music recommendations don’t only serve the mainstream artist but other independent artists in a bid to cover the gap and expose musical acts to listeners who feel stuck in the same cycle of artists and genre the mainstream streaming platforms provide.

“Spotify has recently reported that up to 60 percent of its catalogue has not been played. This is a global issue and you can only imagine how many of the African songs on this catalogue get featured in playlists. The local guys are not getting streams as Spotify and Apple Music are trying to improve algorithms, but with our AI, we help songs in that category survive,” Okoro said.

AI has in recent years been used to remaster songs released in the past to suit the higher resolution of sound on music platforms. Google AI Magenta has recomposed classic songs like Jim Morrison with the Doors, Kurt Cobain with Nirvana, Amy Winehouse, and Jimi Hendrix.

AI bots like AIVA, Watson Beat, and Amper Music have been used in music production. Sonic Pi, developed by Sam Aaron in the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory in collaboration with Raspberry Pi, is a live coding environment based on Ruby, originally designed to support both computing and music lessons in schools.

AI in filmmaking

AI can be used in different aspects of the filmmaking process as well. Using AI to create new scripts and analysing scripts that will be made into a film can help filmmakers handle the process more efficiently. AI algorithms can study the scripted storyline, and bring forward possible questions, uncertainties, and suggestions, thus making the process of script analysis much easier and faster.

In January 2023, DeepMind AI scientists introduced an AI tool to write film scripts. Dramatron is an automatic story generator that uses hierarchical language models to edit, compile and create stories. The system is also said to be able to screen out hate speech with machine learning tools.

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Reports state that the platform makes use of prompt chaining to provide structural context and build coherent scripts and screenplays. Titles, story beats, characters, dialogue, and in-depth descriptions of locations are all included in the AI-generated stories, which will make the filmmaking process much faster, saving significant time and resources for filmmakers.

However, reports also say that Dramatron suffers from long-range semantic consistency, which negatively impacts long-form creative writing projects. The developers also delved into concerns surrounding plagiarism, stereotypes, bias, and privacy.

AI is believed to be able to arrange schedules, locate sites that best suit the storylines, and assist with other pre-production tasks. Using AI at that point in the production process will automate the scheduling of shoots based on the availability of actors, resulting in time savings and increased productivity.

AI can also be used in predicting the success of a film. For instance, Warner Bros. has used the AI-based Cinelytic platform to forecast the box office performance of its films. The Merlin technology, which employs AI and machine learning to match movies to certain genres and audiences and to provide entire demographics for any movie, has been integrated by 20th Century Fox studios in some of their films, according to reports.

Some of the other works of AI that can be implemented into the filmmaking process include actor selection, digitally adding actors to movie scenes, and de-aging older actors based on the role they portray. Filmmakers also leverage AI to identify high-action and emotional movie scenes and bring them out to help editors make enticing trailers.