Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Your Friend or Foe in the Entertainment Industry?

*** A thank you to Mia Dand, CEO of for editing this article. ***

Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently used in the entertainment industry. Combined with machine learning (ML) it can help networks and others get their content seen by the right people(1). It can also suggest to viewers what to watch next based on their interests. The key? Analyzing the metadata that’s used in the search optimization, ad targeting and recommendations.

How does machine learning help program AI?


  • Using natural language processing to analyze the dialogue in the TV show. To creates a series of themes
  • Analyzing the dialogue between actors helps it and AI examine the mood and personality traits of the main characters which allows consumers to find specific scenes and episodes
  • Gaining a deeper understanding of the video content. An example? The personality traits being displayed by an actor.

For example, Amazon uses AI to analyze scenes, objects and faces. It helps the company figure out what the viewers are clicking on.

When media and entertainment (M&E) businesses use ML, it helps them:

  • build logo and brand recognition and
  • determine how audiences are reacting to the content. The data can be used to market, personalize and stop consumers from switching to another service.

As AI starts using voice search in devices, the pay TV industry uses it to improve the viewer experience. An example? Food Network launching a search capability on Amazon voice enabled devices (Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, Amazon Fire TV). The viewer asks the devices about Food Network programs, schedules, recipes and more.

In the advertising world, AI can be used to personalize the content for the customer and advertiser. By using content intelligence, AI can examine what the viewers are watching and when and provides the advertiser a one to one marketing approach to the viewer.

Advertisers should consider AI as their partner that helps them analyze the data to find a fast solution (2). The pros and cons of using AI?


  • AI can be used for targeting and helping discover people to target the ads. It includes bidding efficiently for the ads and
  • AI can be used to build B2B sales leads.


  • AI can’t answer questions that have a broad answer. For example, it can’t recommend which social media platform to use for an advertising campaign (there’s no consistent measurement across these platforms)
  • AI can’t analyze data from consumer surveys or media consumption data. Media planners need to define the data before AI analyzes it and
  • AI can’t write long ads.

In the film industry, AI helps a movie studio figure out whether or not to make the film by analyzing the screenplay. Or determines the box office potential of a film before it’s released by using a neutral network algorithm to analyze 30 years worth data (box office revenues, film budgets, audience demographics and casting information).

Here are two examples where AI was used to write a short screenplay or scene:

  • an AI named Benjamin wrote the short film Sunspring by examining hundreds of movie scripts from the 80’s and 90’s. This is the first time an entire screenplay has been written by AI.
  • In the film “It’s No Game”, AI was used to write David Hasselhoff’s line. The machine learning algorithm learned to create long sentences based on learning rules from a corpus (composed of dialogue taken from several collections of films and television series) of writing. Another algorithm was used to create short sentences from the words.

AI can automatically create an edited clip that can be sent to another company or given to a human editor to create the final clip. For instance, IBM Watson selected the 10 most usable moments from the horror movie “Morgan.” The human editor created the movie trailer from the clips. This was done in 24 hours instead of taking 10-30 days using a human editor.

As machine learning continues to evolve, media companies can use the technology to create other types of content such as series and movie reviews (AI can find the data from different reviews to see what the critics or consumers are saying about it on social media or online).

AI should be seen as a partner.

Supplemental Material:

  • How to AI Can Be Used in Your Business Use AI to focus on the activities that have an immediate impact on revenues and cost.Also, examine opportunities where AI can help you produce more products by using the same amount of people. Example? AP is using AI to automatically write short earnings news stories. By 2015, 3700 quarterly earnings stories were written. This freed up the AP business journalists to research and write more in depth business stories.Finally, don’t start in the front office. Focus on the departments that have a lot of computer to computer interactions, such as IT, finance and accounting.
  • AI and ChatbotsThe music industry has used chatbots to help people discover new songs.Even though human input is needed to finish the AI music product, AI could take over the entire process in the future.The implications for your business? Use chatbots to deal with simple, customer questions. Your AI will evolve as you continue to use machine language to feed it new information.

    Don’t be surprised if you discover that the AI can answer all your client’s questions. Without any human interaction.


(1) From a data POV, Netflix’s “Stranger Things” had 14.07 million viewers (18-49 years old watching in the first 35 days). A total of 42,210 TB of data (assuming the show was watched in HD) was downloaded when viewers streamed the shows.

(2) Cosabella replaced its digital agency with “Albert,” an AI platform that tripled its ROI and increased the customer base by 30%.


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Published by Nick, aka, Research Guru

My real name is Nick but my clients call me the Research Guru. Why? Because I love researching and finding information. And they’re literally amazed when I find the information for them. I love analyzing how technology influences the media and entertainment world. Because the media and entertainment industry is constantly changing. And technology is playing a big role in changing it (from CD’s to live-streaming). Finally, I love coffee, going to the gym/working out and anything to do with athletic leisure clothing (I’m a big Lululemon fan). P.S. If you need to follow me on social media: Twitter: @nickhtang Instagram: @the_information_guru

2 thoughts on “Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Your Friend or Foe in the Entertainment Industry?

  1. I liked this! I appreciate the references as well. It’s very interesting to see a lot of the AI and ML on its on. Some of the things it has already done for the world. Soon everything will be completely data. Which in some way it already is. Everything is geo tagged, a data point.

    Virtual and Augmented Reality will just open the door to the new generation of thought leaders around the world. Give content creators a voice and big industry giants a way to really not just interact but create an UX for customers like never before.

    Great stuff!

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