Can You Outsmart This Film-Identifying AI?

By Jamie Condliffe on at

There are times when you can’t remember the name of something but still need to find it — and a new AI wants to solve that problem when it comes to film.

Engadget reports that the new AI is developed by Valossa — a firm working from the University of Oulu in Finland. The smart software is designed “to create a new, descriptive way of searching video content,” claims the company. To do that, it chews through the raw footage of movies to spot actors, action, locations and other details about scenes that it can use to provide answers to more human search terms. So you can search for something like “Sean Connery with torpedoes” and you will indeed find The Hunt For Red October. Valossa explains what it actually does:

Descriptive movie search is based on our research on what is called “Deep Content”. Deep Content is everything we can see and hear in a video, but cannot mechanically analyze – until now. Deep Content includes transcripts, audio, visual patterns and basically any form of data feed that describes the video content itself. After analyzing the deeper levels of the video, we automatically convert it into advanced metadata. This metadata is then processed by the beating heart of our engine: a cognitive machine learning system that understands natural language queries and matches it with our metadata.

As Engadget points out, this is unlike other systems that search through films, because it actually uses the raw footage: others rely on scripts, subtitles and the like. So far, the new AI has churned through 40,000 films, and the idea is that it could be used by online provides to help you actually find that damn film you just can’t remember the name of.

It’s not perfect, of course: Valossa points out that the “demonstrations on this site have been developed for research purposes and Proof of Concept for the industry”. And it’s not wrong: searching for “that movie where Robin Williams pretends to be a woman” doesn’t turn up Mrs Doubtfire, for instance.

But why not try it out anyway? [What Is My Movie? via Engadget]