The algorithm assumes people will like movies with similar trailers.

Sum of the Parts

The movie studio 20th Century Fox developed a machine learning algorithm that it's using to predict who will like new movies. The system, described in a paper published on the preprint server ArXiv in late October, analyzes and categorizes movie trailers based on the objects and people it detects in them.

Other films with similar trailers, according to the algorithm, will likely appeal to similar audiences.

Mix and Match

For instance, a blog post about the algorithm details how it interpreted the X-Men film "Logan." After watching the trailer, the top four labels picked up by the algorithm were "tree," "facial hair," "car," and "man," which led the algorithm to recommend the visually-similar film “The Revenant,” perhaps because of all the beards and forests.

But, The Verge highlighted, the algorithm totally missed out on the opportunity to pair "Logan" with "Ant-Man," and "Deadpool," both of which are also subversions of a typical superhero story.

Party Trick

Artificial intelligence and robots are rapidly automating Hollywood, with AI recommending scripts to produce and algorithmically generating special effects. But it’s unclear just who Fox's new system will actually help, especially considering AI's current limitations.

Maybe this tool could help marketing teams target specific demographics with ads once the trailer has been produced. But it’s difficult to imagine an area where an image-detection algorithm outperforms humans who are capable of making deeper connections.

But hey, it's still neat!

READ MORE: 20th Century Fox is using AI to analyze movie trailers and find out what films audiences will like [The Verge]

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