Commentary

Using AI To Figure Out What Makes You LOL

Some new products get our attention because they are exactly matched to the times, Twitter,  Vine and Snapchat all hit on the idea that people don’t have time or interest in spending a long time communicating.

A new digital platform takes this one logical step further. An outfit called Unreel Entertainment has just launched JustLOL, an app that presents just the funniest parts of funny videos, with the ability to use artificial intelligence to eventually figure out what kind of stuff makes you laugh. The time you save on discovery is replaced with moments of good solid yucks. That's the working theory. 

This seems so sadly. . . marketable.

“We mine conversations”  said Dan Goikhman, Unreel’s CEO, explaining that by searching Twitter, Reddit and YouTube, it’s possible for JustLOL to find viewer consensus about the funniest videos, and beyond that, the funniest moments within funny videos. And there are millions of them. It’s good someone is taking charge.

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For mobile users and millennials, who occupy a big chunk of the same Venn Diagram, that means JustLOL cuts out all that boring background stuff, so they get right to the laughing-out-loud material.

“The crowd is really good at telling you when it’s good,” Goikhman said, when I suggested that most video commentary is more generic than specific.

But specifically, he said, that’s just not true. Video watchers, he said, often comment about specific scenes that JusLOL can “read” and very frequently, users get pretty exact, noting the time on the video counter that the “best part” will be rolling along. In essence they do the work for JustLOL, and Goikhman suggests, as JustLOL catches on, more and users will begin adding language to their comments that helps identify the go-to locations.

Goikhman says he and co-founder Krish Arvapally haven’t begun working out ways to monetize JustLOL, but he suggests an idea like this could be especially marketable to entertainment and music companies. Having been around the Internet launch business--they worked as leaders of a couple of Internet start-ups before--they may have figured it was better to let the idea present ways to create the business.

Eventually, JustLOL learns and predictively offers the kind of stuff you like, and users will be able to punch in keywords that will deliver more precisely-honed hilarity. You’ll be able to tweet your favorite spots to friends, and while on JustLOL, users can comment as the video rolls along.

It should be noted JustLOL’s AI helpers are poking around for a pretty broad range of funny business, from “pranks, fails, animals, and late-night” according to the literature. The iOS app is available now. Android is coming soon.

JustLOL, with mock seriousness, notes that its cut-to-the-chase practicality was designed for millennials so “they don't have to risk being distracted waiting for the funny part to happen.”

This is, of course,written with a wink, but JustLOL does point to research that shows human beings’ attention span has now slipped to 8.25 seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000. That now means even a goldfish can maintain a “thought” longer. (The fish can hold a thought for nine seconds, though I’d love to see how a goldfish’s attention is determined.)

Now. Where was I?

Perhaps more to the point 17% of Website visits last less than four seconds and just 4% last 10 minutes or more.

Like I said JustLOL seems to be right on time. I can’t remember when a better app came down the pike.  


pj@mediapost.com
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