Around the Web

‘Zone Out’: You need to watch this film, directed entirely by an Artificial Intelligence programme

The five-minute film was written, performed, scored, directed and edited entirely by an AI programme named Benjamin.

Benjamin is a genius who may have created a film that’s going to be a cringe classic for years to come. Zone Out has all the makings of one – hilariously bad dialogue, an absolutely bizarre plotline, distorted characters, an ominously sappy soundtrack and, to wrap it all up, just the best demonic robot laughing you’ll ever hear. If you’ve ever wondered what the end of the world will sound like, we’re pretty sure that robotic laughter is it.

But there’s something else that’s special about Zone Out that will ensure the timelessness of the film. Benjamin is not a human or a collective. Benjamin is an Artificial Intelligence programme that wrote, performed, directed, scored and edited the entire film.

Play
Zone Out.

The idea was the brainchild of Los Angeles-based director Oscar Sharp and Ross Goodwin, a creative technologist at Google. The pair had previously used Benjamin to make another short film, Sunspring In that film, they used real actors and Benjamin carried much less of the load. This time, they decided to let Benjamin do just about everything.

Play
Sunspring.

Sharp told Wired, “What I was really trying to do is attempt to automate each part of the human creative process to see if we learn anything about what it really is to be a human person creating films.”

Like the last time, the short film was created as an entry in the Sci-Fi-London 48-Hour Challenge, which demands that the film be produced in 48 hours while adhering to specific prompts. Thus, we get contorted faces, an incoherent story, incomprehensible dialogue like “There must be some business in my compass” and casual exchanges like: “Are you sure you need a problem?” “I’m not certain, I don’t remember the loss of a substance.”

Sharp and Goodwin provided Benjamin entire films from the public domain – The Last Man on Earth and The Brain That Wouldn’t Die – to which the programme added faces of the human actors from Sunspring, using face-swapping technology and dialogue using voice-generation technologies. The programme also wrote the screenplay, put together the footage, and created the melancholic piano score.

Here’s the behind-the-scenes film of Zone Out.

Play
Behind the scenes of Zone Out.
Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Get ready for an 80-hour shopping marathon

Here are some tips that’ll help you take the lead.

Starting 16th July at 4:00pm, Flipkart will be hosting its Big Shopping Days sale over 3 days (till 19th July). This mega online shopping event is just what a sale should be, promising not just the best discounts but also buying options such as no cost EMIs, buyback guarantee and product exchanges. A shopping festival this big, packed with deals that you can’t get yourself to refuse, can get overwhelming. So don’t worry, we’re here to tell you why Big Shopping Days is the only sale you need, with these helpful hints and highlights.

Samsung Galaxy On Nxt (64 GB)

A host of entertainment options, latest security features and a 13 MP rear camera that has mastered light come packed in sleek metal unibody. The sale offers an almost 40% discount on the price. Moreover, there is a buyback guarantee which is part of the deal.

Original price: Rs. 17,900

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 10,900

Samsung 32 inches HD Ready LED TV

Another blockbuster deal in the sale catalogue is this audio and visual delight. Apart from a discount of 41%, the deal promises no-cost EMIs up to 12 months.

Original price: Rs. 28,890

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 10,900

Intel Core I3 equipped laptops

These laptops will make a thoughtful college send-off gift or any gift for that matter. Since the festive season is around the corner, you might want to make use of this sale to bring your A-game to family festivities.

Original price: Rs. 25,590

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 21,900

Fashion

If you’ve been planning a mid-year wardrobe refresh, Flipkart’s got you covered. The Big Shopping Days offer 50% to 80% discount on men’s clothing. You can pick from a host of top brands including Adidas and Wrangler.

With more sale hours, Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days sale ensures we can spend more time perusing and purchasing these deals. Apart from the above-mentioned products, you can expect up to 80% discount across categories including mobiles, appliances, electronics, fashion, beauty, home and furniture.

Features like blockbuster deals that are refreshed every 8 hours along with a price crash, rush hour deals from 4-6 PM on the starting day and first-time product discounts makes this a shopping experience that will have you exclaiming “Sale ho to aisi! (warna na ho)”

Set your reminders and mark your calendar, Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days starts 16th July, 4 PM and end on 19th July. To participate in 80 hours of shopping madness, click here.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Flipkart and not by the Scroll editorial team.