WALL – Scenario, ‘The 26-minute short film “Boy Sprouted”, written by the artificial intelligence called “Furukoto” and directed by Yuko Watanabe, will be held at the “Short Shorts Film Festival”, one of the largest film festivals in the region, with the Film Festival theme “Meta cinema” this year and in Asia.
Written by artificial intelligence, the story of the film is based on a child’s dislike of tomatoes. This prompts the mother to do her best to make the child eat tomatoes. But the mother has no idea that a plant is actually sprouting on her son’s back. “The quality of the script was equal to that of a human. If I didn’t know, I wouldn’t doubt it was written by a human,” says director Watanabe.
The Japanese start-up company Ales A.Ş. It is an artificial intelligence developed by Furukoto that embodies the essence of “Ki-sho-ten-ketsu,” a Japanese narrative structure that follows the flow of “introduction, development, twist, and conclusion.” The artificial intelligence, which takes its name from the ancient Japanese word for “story”, creates a scenario by selecting the appropriate sentences from many possible sentences using its proprietary PSL technology. PSL stands for Plot, Sentiment Analysis and Logline. He creates a story by evaluating these three elements in complex ways. It uses a repetitive neural network called long short-term memory, or LSTM, to construct sentences.
Currently, Furukoto is only able to create an A4-size script, which is 30 minutes of short text, based on a one-sentence description of a story made up of about 60 Japanese characters. But according to the producer-director, while the AI in Boy Sprouted gets full marks for creativity, it doesn’t compare to the level of detail of what was written by humans.
According to Japanese news agency Kyodo News, producer Ryohei Tsutsui said they view the film as a research and development project to see how well a story written with artificial intelligence can be brought to life with minimal story input from the director. In order not to dilute the “purity” of the AI production, director Watanabe chose to communicate with the actors via storyboards, saying he “just makes sure to add dialogue that doesn’t change a scene or mood.” The long breaks attempted to create an eerie atmosphere befitting the film, which the director assigned to the horror genre.
THE FIRST FILM WITH A MEANINGFUL PATTERN GENERATED BY ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Although there have been a few short films shot from AI-generated scripts so far, producer Hiroki Tawada said that Boy Sprouted is the first film to come out of Japan with a meaningful storyline of this kind. “The plots of the previous films were contradictory. What was interesting was the fact that they were created by artificial intelligence. We didn’t want to do that, we wanted to make a film with a decent story,” Tawada said.
Furukoto can’t write dialogue just yet, but developers are working on adding that capability, in addition to creating scripts long enough to create an entire feature film.
Hitoshi Matsubara, the leading artificial intelligence researcher and professor who founded Ales in 2018, said that while he believes artificial intelligence has the potential to one day rival human creativity, one fundamental difference will always remain will. “Humans have something they want to say, but AI and computers don’t really have something they want to say. People are often struck by the creator’s passion, but that doesn’t exist in works created by AI,” Matsubara said. (EXTERNAL NEWS)