Warner Bros, which nearly 20 years ago released A.I. Artificial Intelligence, is bringing futuristic tech tools into its international operations, enlisting a customized AI platform recently introduced by L.A. tech firm Cinelytic.
The companies announced an agreement Wednesday during CES in Las Vegas, where WarnerMedia has a significant presence this year. It is leveraging HBO’s Westworld to plant a flag at the tech confab. Two of its top executives spoke Tuesday about the May launch of streaming service HBO Max.
The arrangement is a trial run and only involves the international side of the studio, with the domestic teams not yet connected to Cinelytic. While the official announcement said the system would be used “throughout the content value chain,” studio sources emphasized that distribution data is the focus, not giving studio brass some kind of robot development squad.
Cinelytic, which has gotten buy-ins from other film entities since rolling out its new project management system last year, will aim to “inform decision making around content and talent valuation to support release strategies.”
According to Cinelytic, the sheer amount and scope of data and insights in its platform will “reduce executives’ time spent on low-value, repetitive tasks.” Instead, studio employees will be able to focus on “generating actionable insights for packaging, green-lighting, marketing and distribution decisions” on a continuing basis.
“We are very excited to work with Warner Bros. Pictures International, a leader in worldwide content, to bring the power of real-time predictive analytics to content and talent valuation decisions,” said Cinelytic co-founder and CEO Tobias Queisser.
Tonis Kiis, SVP, Warner Bros. Pictures International Distribution, added, “Warner Bros. is excited to employ Cinelytic’s cutting-edge system. In our industry, we make tough decisions every day that affect what—and how—we produce and deliver films to theaters around the world, and the more precise our data is, the better we will be able to engage our audiences.”
Darcy Antonellis, who spent 15 years as a top digital executive at Warner Bros and Time Warner and now runs Amdocs Media, offered her assessment in a statement separate from the main announcement. Hollywood, she predicted, “will undoubtedly increase its use of AI in the creative process” as 2020 progresses. In the next five to 10 years, she continued, “AI will change the way producers and directors approach production realization. While it will never wholly overtake what the creative mind can conjure, AI will help bolster and target that creativity in an impactful and meaningful way.”