Tuesday 11 February 2020 4:26 am

DEBATE: Could AI ever win an Oscar?

John Gikopoulos is global head of AI and automation at Infosys Consulting.
Leon Emirali

Could AI ever win an Oscar?

John Gikopoulos, global head of AI and automation at Infosys Consulting, says YES.

It’s entirely possible, and plausible, that artificial intelligence (AI) could soon win an Oscar. With the South Korean film Parasite winning Best Picture this year — the first ever foreign language film to do so — the stage has been set for a new dawn of filmmaking.

With the advent of “implemented AI”, the boundaries of physical and digital seem to be blurring even more. The last two years have seen tremendous leaps in terms of real-life AI supporting traditional industries — like banking, healthcare, retail and logistics.

And recently, AI has ventured into the realms of the bohemian artist, helping create a “masterpiece” which sold for $432,500 at Christie’s.

We live in an era where real art and expression seem to be much more about the individuals creating it and not the actual results. As such, applying algorithmic decision making to an existing set of movie records to have AI produce a script — or even direct an existing one — is not that far from reality.

Leon Emirali, an entrepreneur and adviser, says NO.

No doubt, we are beginning to see AI deployed for creative purposes more and more. Plenty of advertising copy is now generated by a computer based on algorithms and data, as opposed to the whisky-fuelled human creativity of yesteryear.

But would an audience ever accept a film written and directed by a robot?
We seek out narratives that we can relate to, build relationships with characters who we either adore or despise, and laugh and cry after being exposed to emotions we rarely feel in our day-to-day lives.

This is all down to the interpretation of human rawness and vulnerability that the director has experienced on the other side of the lens. Living among wealth inequality in Seoul will have conjured emotions that Bong Joon-Ho, this year’s best director, has relayed onto the big screen to share with us all.

Ceremonies like the Oscars reward films that remind us of humanity’s deep complexities. Yes, a robot could download the characteristics of the best films and spit out a perfectly watchable movie — but where’s the fun in that?

Main image credit: Getty

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