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Need a Film Trailer Fast? Ask Watson to Do It

No, not Sherlock Holmes’ buddy, and not James D. Watson either. We’re talking about IBM Watson, the supercomputer that is so hip, it blew away closet geniuses on Jeopardy!, and so brilliant it helped diagnose cancer patients.

IBM’s favorite supercomputer also reads prolifically and has even extended its circuits into the realm of gourmet cooking. (It’s single too, ladies and gents!)

So it’s no surprise Watson is dipping its software into Hollywood by making a film trailer to promote 20th Century Fox’s 2016 recent sci-fi thriller, Morgan. The film tells the story of a humanoid AI that goes out of control, to its creators’ dismay.

To prep for the task, Watson was force-fed 100 horror movie trailers followed by the full-length version of Morgan. The supercomputer isn’t yet able to edit the clips it chose into a coherent trailer — a hapless human had to perform that menial task — but it did turn a typically 10 day slog into a 24-hour crush.

Watson’s not the only AI getting in on the Hollywood action. A recurrent neural network, self-named Benjamin, generated a sci-fi screenplay recently based on dozens of genre scripts along with prompts from the Sci-Fi London film festival’s 48-hour challenge.

Not bad, Watson and Benjamin, not bad. We see your trailer and screenplay, and raise you a decent remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. Get on it.