Write a Video

Hand typing on laptop where the screen shows a video being edited.

…and the Best Home Video award goes to…your computer??

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with The Loh Down on Science.

All those old home videos – what a mess! How will I ever pull together that birthday montage?!

Enter Miao Wang and scientists from Tsinghua University in Beijing. They’ve developed an intelligent computer system to make video mashups using…words!

The system gets a paragraph about a topic – say, African animals or London attractions. Then it pulls clips from the web and online personal libraries. Finally, it stitches them together and — voila! Oscar time! But is it worth watching?

Both a human editor and the machine created twenty videos each. Both sets of videos were judged by a random group of viewers. Like the Academy Awards!

Who did Best Video go to?

It’s…a tie. People liked the computer’s videos just as much as the professionals’! But the human spent up to SEVEN HOURS on each one. The computer? Just THIRTEEN MINUTES. Wow, that’s fast!

I can FINALLY finish that home video project! Now, if only I could read my own handwriting!