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Entertain us, data


Pedro Pereira, Freelance writer and editor

AUGUST 30, 2023
The Hollywood sign on the hills of Hollywood

Beware of the Marvel Cinematic Universe spoilers in the following paragraph. 

In the season finale of She-Hulk, we see Jen break the fourth wall and follow her fighting inside of Marvel Studios for a better ending. Together, we learn that the Knowledge Enhanced Visual Interconnectivity Nexus (KEVIN), an AI machine, is pulling the strings to decide on what happens in each Marvel movie or series based on the data it collects from viewers’ reactions.

From KEVIN to Ava to Free Guy, artificial intelligence has become a frequent hero (and villain) in Hollywood movies. But like in the real world, AI is used not just to entertain. KEVIN possesses an algorithm to create the “most entertaining plot lines,” and so do Hollywood studios. 

Hollywood has become a major user of data to decide which projects to pursue. Content creators in other areas, including marketing, advertising, gaming, and news reporting, are leveraging data analytics and machine learning to enhance their services and products.

While technology companies have an unquestionable obligation to consider ethics, if someone is bent on corrupting a technology, they’re bound to find a way. 

Read this blog to understand how the ethics of artificial intelligence comes down to conscious decision making

Data’s leading role

When it comes to entertainment, whether on the big screen or TV, making a product that people want to watch requires a good story, a well-written script, and a cast of characters that viewers can relate to. But it also takes a whole lot of data to boost the chances of success for a movie or TV show.

Increasingly, the producers of films and TV series are using data analytics to determine which scripts to turn into movies, who gets to direct them, and what actors will play which roles. The right combination, based on what the data tells producers, can make the difference between a movie that tanks, fades gently into memory, or makes a splash that drives box office numbers into the stratosphere.

But the film industry leverages data for other purposes as well. As this TechTarget article aptly describes, the film industry uses data analytics to decide “where to shoot, the order to shoot scenes and how to tailor different cuts of the film to different audiences—such as in the United States, Europe, Asia, for airlines, or in director's cut or DVD format.” In addition, analytics can play a decisive role in how to market the film, and which theaters in which cities to show it.

So, yes, data has become one of the film industry’s “leading actors.” When you think about it, it isn’t all that surprising, considering Hollywood’s long-held fascination with stories around data, analytics and mathematics, as manifested in films such as “Ex Machina,” “A Beautiful Mind,” and “The Imitation Game.”


Person using smart phone with a game on screen

Content analytics

Data analytics makes gaming more fun

Besides its utility in motion pictures, data is increasingly at the center of other types of content creation and delivery, such as advertising and media reports. Take Cloudera client Dwango, a telecommunications and media company based in Japan. The company develops online games and provides the communications platforms Niconico Video and Niconico Live Streaming.

As its data analytics needs increased, Dwango sought to reduce the burden on infrastructure management and the need for human intervention in the analytics process. The company built a scalable platform with data aggregation and analytics functionality, which made it possible to move massive amounts of data and consolidate storage nodes. Users within and outside of the company now can leverage the platform to deliver marketing data to owners of the Niconico video sharing service.

Data analytics for more accurate news

Thomson Reuters, a media company focused primarily on news and the finance and business markets, is another example of data analytics at play in content creation. Recognizing Twitter as an unavoidable news source, Thomson Reuters wanted to leverage content from the social media platform, but needed a way to filter out fake news.

The media company started to leverage machine learning and advanced analytics to determine in near real time whether an event merited coverage. The intelligent solution processes about 13 million tweets daily to determine if information is true and assess its likely impact.

Data analytics to personalize marketing

In the world of digital marketing, data analytics is also making an impact. Conversant, a leader in personalized digital marketing, sees tens of billions of transactions daily thanks to its interaction with all major internet exchanges. Conversant needed an infrastructure that could keep up with those interactions so it could respond in milliseconds. 

Conversant developed a platform that uses real-time processing, data analytics, and machine learning to deliver insights about its customers and products. The environment works across the enterprise to handle 150 billion transactions each day, delivering responses to queries almost instantly.

Data analytics for your content

These examples illustrate the fundamental role data plays daily in content creation and distribution. The next time you watch a movie, it’s quite possible that AI in the form of a real-world KEVIN had a major hand in ensuring the film would get your attention. Learn how Cloudera data analytics can deliver results for your content creation.

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Photo of author Pedro Pereira

Pedro Pereira

Pedro Pereira is a New Hampshire-based freelance writer and editor. He has covered the IT industry for more than two decades, focusing on cybersecurity, AI and IoT. 

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