Written by Ricardo Lopez,Variety, 8 Dec 2017
If it’s at all similar to its immediate predecessors, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is likely to give more talking time to women and minority characters, who in recent films have grown more prominent in the increasingly diverse Star Wars universe.
USC engineer Shri Narayanan has begun harnessing the force of artificial intelligence (AI) to quantify and measure character dialogue, giving Hollywood filmmakers a scientific tool to increase diversity in films. It’s a work in progress, said Narayanan, USC’s Niki & C. L. Max Nikias Chair in Engineering. His team of doctoral students have been developing software that can analyze scripts, identify speaking parts and cross-reference actor names with a race database to breakdown dialogue by gender and race.
A recent analysis of the Star Wars films, dating back to the 1977 original, “A New Hope,” shows stark advancement for women and minorities in a franchise with global cultural power.
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