Researchers have presented a new artificial intelligence bot that can predict whether a movie will be a critical and financial siccess by simply analyzing its plot. 

The team behind the AI presented their paper at the 2019 Storytelling Workshop held in Florence, Italy this month. They claimed that the AI can help movie producers decide which movies might be worth the investment. 

"As the size of investment for movie production grows bigger, the need for predicting a movie's success in early stages has increased," explained the study authors in the paper's abstract. "To enable a more earlier prediction of a movie's performance, we propose a deep-learning based approach to predict the success of a movie using only its plot summary text."

How AI Looks At Movie Plot To Predict Its Future

The researchers explained that they used plot summaries from Wikipedia of more than 42,000 movies from all over the world to test several models. They also took the critical rankings of the movies from Rotten Tomatoes. 

The models broke down and analyzed each plot summary by sentences using something called sentiment analysis. If a sentence has a positive sentiment, it would be assigned a rating closer to one. On the other hand, if the sentence is considered "negative," it would receive a rating closer to negative one. 

The ratings received by each sentences where added to produce a single score that would reflect how often sentiment changed. As Science Magazine noted, movies that are generally liked, like the 1951 adaptation Alice in Wonderland (80 percent at Rotten Tomatoes), have frequent fluctuations in sentiment. In contrast, The Limits of Control, a movie released in 2009 and was considered a miss, fluctuated significantly less. 

"Since these scores indicate the popularity and quality of a movie, we define a successful movie as having the combination of these score greater than 75," the researchers stated in the paper. 

Movies like Das Boot, A Man for All Seasons, and the aforementioned Alice in Wonderland all received high scores. 

Using AI To Predict The Future

The researchers tried three different methods to arrive at a final score. They reported that all three produced promising results. They said that one method is pretty efficient at identifying thrillers and comedies that will be panned by critics. 

The researchers added that their methods were not as efficient at foreseeing the future of a movie, but they said that the results still fared better than random chance. They also hope that the methods can be refined to one day help producers identify which movies will be a success at the box office. 

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