Kristen Stewart released a research paper on her use of artificial intelligence in her new short film, Come Swim

By Mike Miller
January 19, 2017 05:59 PM
Short Program 1 - 2017 Sundance Film Festival
Credit: George Pimentel/Getty

Artificial intelligence, a technological milestone Steven Hawking once warned “could spell the end of the human race,” is now being explored by none other than Kristen Stewart.

Fortunately for mankind, the type of A.I. discussed in a new research paper coauthored by the Twilight actress is more concerned with artistic expression than our future robot overlords. The paper, posted yesterday to ArXiv, Cornell’s online depository of non-peer reviewed research, focuses on the A.I. used to create art in Stewart’s screenwriting and directorial debut, Come Swim.

The short film, part of Refinery29’s Shatterbox Anthology, was inspired by one of her own paintings, and filmmakers used a technique called style transfer that uses machine learning to transfer the technique and color palette from one image to another. In Come Swim, Stewart used style transfer to meld scenes in the film with the style and color of her painting. The research paper shows examples of the technique here.

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The paper was co-authored by a producer at Starlight Studios, where the film was produced, and an Adobe employee.

“The painting itself evokes the thoughts an individual has in the first moments of waking (fading in-between dreams and reality),” reads a section of the paper. “This directly drove the look of the shot, leading us to map the emotions we wanted to evoke to parameters in the algorithm.”

Come Swim will be shown at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, which kicks off on Thursday.