AI tool predicts movie ranking before a scene is shot

Artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining a place in all industries, and movie entertainment is no exception. Wherever is a tedious process, AI can be trusted to make it better and more efficient.

Classification of films, which is usually done manually by humans while viewing the film and making decisions about the presence of violent acts, drug addiction and sexual content, is one such task that can now be revolutionized through to researchers from USC Higher School of Engineers of Viterbi.

The new AI tool explained

Using AI applied to movie scripts, researchers say they can assess movie content in just seconds. All of this can be done before a single scene is shot, through Daily science.

This is all the more important as movie ratings are a big deal. Usually located at the end of movie trailers, they offer the viewer the clues needed to grasp the content of the movie in a short period of time. When these ratings are given, they can be affected through anyone, which won’t be a problem thanks to this new AI tool.

Shrikanth Narayanan, University Professor and Niki & CL Max Nikias Chair of Engineering, and a team of researchers from the Signal Analysis and Interpretation Lab (SAIL) at USC Viterbi, demonstrated that linguistic cues can effectively indicate violent behavior, drug abuse, and sexual content about to be taken up by characters in a movie.

The AI ​​tool processes the script through a neural network and scans it for the semantics and sentiment expressed. By classifying the sentences into positive, negative, aggressive and other descriptors, it produces a note at the end.

Victor Martinez, the study’s principal investigator, noted, “Our model looks at the script of the movie, rather than the actual scenes, including, for example, sounds like a gunshot or explosion that occur later in the production pipeline. This has the advantage of providing a note well in advance of production to help filmmakers decide, for example the degree of violence and whether it needs to be mitigated.

There were thought-provoking models

The researchers also encountered some interesting trends in their study. One was that there seemed to be a correlation between the amount of content in a typical drug addiction movie and the amount of sexual content. “Whether intentionally or not, the filmmakers seem to match the level of addiction-related content with sexually explicit content,” Martinez said.

They also found that the filmmakers seem to have compensated for the low levels of violence with joint portrayals of drug addiction and sexual content.

Another interesting point was that when there was more sexual content, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) seemed to “put less emphasis on violence / addiction content,” indicating that regardless of content violence or sexual content “will likely receive an R rating.”


Narayanan added“Not only are we interested in the storytellers’ perspective of the stories they weave, but also in understanding the impact on the audience and the ‘holdbacks’ of the whole experience. Tools like these will help raise awareness in society, for example, by identifying negative stereotypes. “

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