Los Angeles Times

Can a computer write a script? Machine learning goes Hollywood

Award-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald has directed many movies, including the drama "The Last King of Scotland" and thriller "State of Play." But last year was the first time Macdonald worked with a script written by a machine.

Macdonald directed a 60-second Lexus sedan commercial using artificial intelligence that relied on tech giant IBM's platform, Watson. The computer produced a script featuring a sentient-like Lexus ES that hits the open road, whizzing by stunning vistas of shoreline and forests before saving itself from a dramatic crash.

"I thought this was something amazing that had all these ambiguities in it and strangeness in it," Macdonald said. "It's only a matter of time where the formula of what makes up a great story, a great character can be learned by a computer."

It may sound like science fiction, but the idea of using computers to help write scripts and other tasks is gaining serious traction in Hollywood. Machine learning - where computers use

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