IBM used advanced AI computer to create first-ever cognitive trailer for Morgan

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Sep 6, 2016, 9:42 AM EDT (Updated)

Since Morgan is a horror thriller movie about an A.I., 20th Century Fox had the awesome idea to turn to the good folks at IBM Research to create the first-ever cognitive trailer for the movie.

IBM Research scientists used machine learning techniques and experimental Watson APIs (which is a supercomputer) for the task of creating a new trailer for Morgan. They fed Watson trailers from a hundred horror movies cut into separate moments or scenes. When that was done, it (Watson) then performed visual, audio and composition analysis on each scene to “learn” what was scary to people.

The scientists then fed Watson the whole of director Luke Scott’s movie so it could find the right “moments” to include in a trailer. Watson then chose 10 specific scenes which made up about six minutes of footage. A filmmaker (of the human kind) was then brought in to make the best of the scenes Watson chose and cut a trailer that would try to tell a coherent story.

John Smith, who is a manager at IBM Research and Multimedia and Vision, explained how the idea actually came about:

“Fox approached IBM and they said well we have this movie coming out, it's called Morgan, and it's an A.I. horror thriller, and then what Fox asked was could Watson analyze the movie and generate a trailer automatically, so we thought let's send Watson to film school.”

You can read all about how it was done in greater detail at ASmarterPlanet, but in the meanwhile, you can see the interesting (if perhaps not so good) results below.


A corporate troubleshooter (Kate Mara) is sent to a remote, top-secret location, where she is to investigate and evaluate a terrifying accident. She learns the event was triggered by a seemingly innocent “human,” who presents a mystery of both infinite promise and incalculable danger.

The movie stars Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Toby Jones, Rose Leslie, Boyd Holbrook, Michelle Yeoh, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Paul Giamatti.

Morgan will open in theaters on Sept. 2

(via Comic Book, Engadget)