Today, algorithms can already recommend us anything based on our profile and taste. But the entertainment industry wants to go even further.
Prefer haunted house or jungle? Romantic or tragic ending? In addition to recommendation algorithms, entertainment companies want to use our data to provide unique and calibrated experiences for each person using artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
Customized theme parks
Last September, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) show took place in London, where professionals can see the latest innovations in this field. They are particularly interested in a technology to enrich their amusement parks: virtual reality. The latter would provide more interactivity for visitors, even in the endless queues, and a fully personalized experience thanks to algorithms. “There is more and more customization for customers: all parks know who is coming, their name, their age, probably their likes and dislikes, and therefore can transform the park for each visitor. Each visitor experience will be different and likely tailored directly to that visitorexplains Maximillian Roeser, marketing director of Mack Rides, to the Guardian. We’ve already worked on this, because we already have options in alpha for our coasters where you can choose your own experience: a person sitting on the left can watch a different movie than the person on the right. »
An entertainment giant is interested in using recommendation algorithms in a cross-cutting way: Disney. At the end of October, CEO Bob Chapek – now replaced by Bob Iger – gave an idea of the company’s ambitions at an event organized by the Wall Street Journal : “If you’re on Disney+, we should know what happened, what you did, what you liked, the last time you visited a park [d’attractions] and vice versa. When you are in a park [d’attractions], we should know your viewing habits on Disney+. » In summary, if someone does a Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at a Disney park, their Disney+ account will suggest watching the movies and other similar videos. Have their audience on hand to tell them what to do and what to look at.
In addition to the use of personal data, artificial intelligence has also sparked controversy by offering the possibility to create ever more qualitative illustrations from a few keywords. Add to that deepfakes, voice cloning, and story writing with artificial intelligence, and it will probably be possible within a few years to create entire movies based on keywords or our personal data, which is not without problems.
From collective imagination to hyper-individualized content
We could argue that this is just the logical continuation of the individualization of pop culture: when series were shown on television for years at a rate of one episode a week, a truly collective experience emerged and was in keeping with its time. Friends for example, is considered a cult series from the 90s and 2000s. Even if a group of friends share a Netflix account today, they will all be individually guided through an almost infinite jungle of content by algorithms. So they can watch completely different series and have never heard of their friends’.
The proliferation of screens reinforces this individualization within the same household: instead of watching the same television together, everyone watches a different program on their tablet or telephone.
Just as algorithms have created echo chambers on social networks, bubbles where everyone has the same opinion, generating entertaining content specific to an individual from what they already like can lock them into their comfort zone, never rush them, never question them, possibly, making him miss his future favorite movie.
But will we really reach a time where no one is watching the same video and everyone is watching something 100% unique? This remains unlikely, as sharing your impressions – or spoilers – is part of the viewing experience. TV contests and tele-hook shows like Top chef and star academy are still successes today, mainly because they create collective emotions and debates, both on Twitter and around the coffee machine.