We're honoured to have partnered with The Electric Factory on an end-to-end AI experience for Netflix Mexico.
The Sandman is a story featuring Morpheus, the king of dreams. It begins with his unexpected imprisonment and the subsequent removal of hope from humanity. After a century he escapes and unleashes dreams back into the world. It was this outpouring of power and potential that Netflix Mexico wanted to replicate for the launch of their screen adaptation. This is where we came in. We were tasked with creating a remarkable experience that explored Morpheus’ first encounter with a being he’d never met before - Artificial Intelligence.
Designed in Spanish for a launch across Latin America, we needed to translate more than just language. We needed to make complex concepts and technologies easily accessible to a wide range of users while staying true to the themes and characters of the show.
“Can AI dream?” is a BIG question that needed to be unpacked.
- Is AI sentient?
- Is sentience a requirement of dreaming?
- What is a dream?
- Can dreams be created as an algorithm?
We began by answering in our own voice before shifting to that of Morpheus, the lead character in the show. Our conclusions were that AI is not sentient though it could create a dreamlike state through the amalgamation of its own experiences. As such, our creation process - along with additional user input - could provide the information required to replicate dreaming. From here we aligned on the data sources an AI model would need to reach our desired output.
- Scripts from the show
- Imagery from the show
- User interactions with the AI model
- Scripts would provide our sentiment
- Imagery would provide our visual representations
- User interactions would define the nature of the dream
Additional decisions were made about how our dreams would be formed, with a specific focus on how we could deliver an entirely AI based solution.
Turning data into dreams:
The show’s scripts were passed through an AI model that scanned their sentiment. Their sentiment was then fed into a different model that made musical lullabies to match the mood. Overall, one lullaby was created for each episode. The frequency of certain words and timing of each script further impacted the orchestration of each track, influencing the instrumentation, tone, and pacing.
Imagery from each episode was run through a GAN neural network to create dreamlike animations that, as an Easter Egg to fans, referenced the style of The Sandman’s comic art.
A conversational AI experience was also written and developed for Amazon Alexa. This Skill enabled users to talk with The Sandman (voiced by the actor) and its logic flow meant that each interaction - through analysis of the user’s sentiment - would deliver a personalised lullaby-dream experience.
The skill was launched to coincide with the release of the Sandman series, and was part of a month-long campaign to promote the 'dreamy' themes of the show. During this campaign, we recorded over 20,000 unique users who opened the skill to receive an AI-generated lullaby from the Sandman on an Alexa device.
Beyond the unique users, we were most proud of the fact that the average user opened the skill at least twice - an accomplishment for a skill of its nature. The skill also managed to maintain around 6,000 unique users per week and offered an extended Sandman experience for fans of the show.
Based on the number of unique users, Sandman Por Netflix was one of the Top 20 Skills in Mexico over the month of promotion. No nightmares, only sweet dreams!