Welcome to the world of Collaboration: “audience as artist” in a world of AI entertainment

How our world will be taken over by the “Artificial Intelligence” technologies was presented at the AI showbiz event in Los Angeles.  An extensive group of technologists, futurists, engineers, programmers, artists, creators, moviemakers and content creators gathered together to share ideas and predict this unique future that in some ways is already here.

Ever wonder about the computer in the film “2001: A Space Odyssy ” named “Hal” who took control over the space station and the poor humans that were inhabiting it. This vision of the future ignites one of the most powerful “fears” we humans have about a giant computer or any other technology that tries to rule the world.  Celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, the film is considered by many to be the ultimate movie about space ever made. George Lucas himself considers it to be a true masterpiece. So many engineers in the AI field are science fiction readers and aficionados; all freely admit they are hugely influenced by science fiction culture created by writers and movie visionaries.

“Artificial Intelligence” is a language of the future that is here today. We are all interacting with it in some form by our everyday use of digital devices.  AI used to be the world of a few lonely geniuses. Now it is a field of unique technical practitioners who are from a variety of areas including entertainment, engineering, programming, marketing, and enterprise platforms. If you are new to the idea of AI or the concept of this kind of future, be get ready to be fascinated. An essential component of the AI technology is that it learns from us humans as it progresses.  One example, that is currently in research phase is what I call the “special effects baby”  created from digital visual technology to resemble a “real” baby that was able to learn, respond and react to the human exchanges.  This is at the heart of AI: learning from human interactions,  AI creations are basically mirroring our own behaviors both good and bad. A number of technologists I spoke to quietly mentioned there are many who are on “watch” to make sure that the human elements and social engineering required will not “end badly” or in movie terms reveal an ugly plot twist.

AI is about data, and lots of it. What most of the AI experts are sharing is their desire to improve human interactions that are dull and repetitive for say, a retail or enterprise platform.  Basic tasks we do every day can be aided by an AI interface that makes our lives easier.  While still a work in progress, the technology has sped up to the point where companies are already inveseting in the R&D to anticipate this future. AI touches the field of social media, marketing and other audience or socially reactive platforms that gather data based on human reactions. In the end, its all about human interface that builds this learning curve into the technology; not the other way around.

What this also signals to the entertainment industry is that the audience (and society in general ) are going to be more participatory in this evolution.  In entertainment the participatory nature of multi-experiential stories will be something that brings the audience into the process of creation itself.  Multi-plot entertainment and crowd sourced experiences are going to become the norm as the audience becomes the “co-creator” with the originator of the platform. Entertainment in the future will be less about “top down” guesswork and more about big data. A  “solo”  human creator while not obsolete, must adapt to these new media platforms that will change they way they are delivering entertainment product. This area of AI and EMERSIVE environments will change the entire field of practitioners who are used to working in the analog world.   Special effects and “humanoid’ figures that are ‘real’ performers were are shown  in a video by electronic artist IAMEVE whose performances are entirely cyber though her voice and materials are created by her (iameve.com).

Welcome, to the brave new world of AI and Entertainment.