Before the world has been engulfed by the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, people did a lot of things that can’t be done right now as we embrace the new normal.
For leisure, people go out with friends or loved ones to eat or even go to the movies to entertain themselves. On-demand high definition streaming platforms such as Hulu, Netflix, and Disney+ may do quite the job perfectly these days but there is a certain magic that enlightens one’s heart when they’re in front of the silver screen.
From your all-time favourites, may it be the mainstream Avengers end-game or the indie film queer breakthrough movie Call Me by Your Name, one element that gives us the full immersed fantasy experience while we indulge ourselves to such masterpieces is the movie’s soundtrack.
Some of the most remarkable sounds in film, let us say the movie ‘A Quiet Place’ which is undeniably one of the most iconic horror film out there, uses Foley artists to make their magic. But you may ask, what is a Foley artist? According to website Studiobinder, they are persons who recreate sounds for film and television (TV). Their main job is to enhance the audio quality in these forms of media which result to a greater, more immersive auditory audience experience. They are a crucial part of the post production team and has a direct hand in the making of the film before it hits the market.
However, what would happen if artificial intelligence (AI), would one day take over the jobs of these people? Researchers have looked into that and they wanted to find out if they can take up a Foley artist’s job in the post production team.
In a study published in the IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, they tested a select group of participants in a study involving sounds made by professional Foley artists and made by the AI’s algorithm.
Surprisingly, most of the participants got bamboozled and selected those produced by the AI.
One might think that AI would soon take over, right? But the AI is incapable of one thing as we speak – and that is being able to sync up the sound to what is currently playing on screen. For still videos or those which contain little to no movements, the AI might pass with flying colors yet in an active scene it will fail miserably.
Findings like this can help the AI move forward to improve itself but in the present and few more years to come (hopefully), humans, specially Foley artists, will still play a crucial role in making movie magic.