Streaming Intelligence: GPT and Streaming’s Future
How will new AI tools improve the cord-cutting lifestyle?
To be clear, this is not another the-sky-is-falling piece about how ChatGPT and other “AI” applications are going to put everyone out of work and end civilization as we know it. Sure, that may still happen. But at least we’ll have something to watch while waiting for the machines to take over.
In this issue:
Opening doors for content creators
Making content easier to find
Embracing our AI overlords
More content from more creators
Creators have a knack for taking new tools and running with them. Pre-Y2K indie horror film The Blair Witch Project relied on consumer-grade camcorders. An old Mac and a jury-rigged blue screen were all filmmaker Kerry Conran needed to create the short film that became Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Lena Dunham used an affordable DSLR to shoot her directorial debut, Tiny Furniture.
Ignore the I-used-ChatGPT-to-X-and-here’s-what-I-found quick takes. Real innovation is happening quietly in the background. Writers, cinematographers, and other creatives are playing with today’s (relatively) primitive tools to see what’s possible. At first, it will be brainstorming ideas and offloading grunt work. But it won’t be long before creators use AI tools for much, much more.
The Safe Zone shows what was possible six months ago. Granted, it’s not great, and its main backer is a Silicon Valley investor who backs AI projects, so yeah, vested interest. But when you look at how the project integrated AI into production, you can see the opportunities these tools can give a new generation of creators.
What difference will this make for cord-cutters? We should see a surge of indie content as these tools help students and solo creatives with limited budgets. In addition, better dubbing and subbing will make international content more accessible.
Making content discovery work for once
It’s amazing how little of the billions streaming companies spend each year goes to content discovery. Algorithms regurgitate the kind of content you’ve already watched. If your Battlestar Galactica binge dominates your watch history, you’ll never see a category for 50s-era musicals, much less recommendations for Brigadoon.
Streaming app search functions aren’t any better. They haven’t advanced in decades and only work when you know the title or actor you’re looking for. Don’t bother asking Amazon Prime Video “What’s that 80’s kid thriller movie with that mustache guy from Drexell’s Class?”
Don’t bother asking ChatGPT either:
"I believe you are referring to the 1986 movie 'The Hitcher,' which starred Rutger Hauer as the titular character and C. Thomas Howell as the protagonist. While Dabney Coleman, who played the lead role in 'Drexell's Class,' did not appear in 'The Hitcher,' he has appeared in numerous other films and television shows throughout his career."
😯 That’s the wrong answer… on many, many levels.
Still, you can see the potential. All AI-powered streaming search needs is to balance the friendly natural language capabilities of ChatGPT with the deep, fact-based catalog of a content API. We would get the right answers to the kinds of questions we ask when in the mood for something different.
Our Takeaway: Bring on the machines
I, for one, welcome our AI overlords. Even if deep learning models stall out and never advance beyond where we are today, they will transform the content streaming industry.
Reducing friction in content creation will help us get new voices to tell fresh stories in innovative ways. But that will take a few years. I’m looking forward to how AI could improve streaming today by ending Netflix doom scrolling. Let me tell the AI what I’m in the mood for in a hand-wavy sort of way so I can start watching Cloak & Dagger.
What about you? Are you ready for the content industry to adopt AI?
Are you ready for the content industry to adopt AI?
May the fourth be with you indeed, as Star Wars: Visions V2 and Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures hit Disney+, available to watch now.
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See how Queen Charlotte came into her power in the Bridgerton spinoff, streaming on Netflix today, May 4th.
Discover how an entire society functions inside of a silo meant to protect them, running hundreds of levels deep. Silo releases on Apple TV+, Friday, May 5th.
Hannah Gadsby is back with another Netflix stand-up special. Hannah Gadsby: Something Special chuckles into homes, Tuesday, May 9th.
Follow a class of CSI agents as they meet again in Quantico. Hulu original Class of ‘09 drops Wednesday, May 10th.
The Muppets are back and mischief is afoot! Or mayhem, rather. The Muppets Mayhem shreds onto Disney+, Wednesday, May 10th.
How did you feel about this issue of the Stream Report?