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Upset About Your Favourite TV-Show Ending? AI Has the Solution!

by Robert Woolliams
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We have all experienced it. That feeling of "emptiness" when you watch the end credits roll across your screen as the last minutes of your favourite TV-show has come. The feeling of  misery, knowing that there will never be another new episode, and that "binge-watching" the episodes again will never be the same as when you first saw it. Well, what if AI could change this? 

Quartz recently published an article about a group of university students at Leeds University UK, who is now taking AI into the world of series, recreating old characters to let them appear in new episodes. Their first immortal character? Joey from Friends, of course.

The team of students have taken to using a series of algorithms, muting the laugh track on the TV show, tracking the faces of each character, and then analysing their voices and body language, as well as their mouth's mimic.

"The machine learning tool also scours the show’s script in order to learn dialogue and understand how each character strings together sentences", Quartz writes.

Despite going through 200 episodes, adding up to 4,400 hours of video and thousands of pages of scripts, the Leeds algorithm was still not perfect. Faults such as Joey's words being mismatched and his mouth's movement not looking natural were some, and the team is now working towards improving this.

Quartz mentions that applying AI techniques in this way is not new, linking to a Stanford project released earlier this year called Face2Face, showing how AI can be used to flawlessly manipulate a person's mouth in a video.

 

Even better news for Friends-fans who are iPhone-users is that the Leeds researchers predict that Joey from Friends might be able to take over for iPhone's Siri, or Amazon Echo's Alexa.

However, the best news to take away from this is that there are now potential of extending any of your favourite shows in the future, all thanks to the brilliance of AI!

The original article was found at: http://qz.com/811231/artificial-intelligence-tv-characters/

Photo Credit: Google

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