Film Editors, Beware: The Robots Are Coming

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Sept. 20 2011 5:53 PM

Film Editors, Beware: The Robots Are Coming

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

First they came for the sports writers. Then automation began knocking other reporters’ doors. Next in human-free media jobs: film editing.

A new company called Magisto launched today, and while the automated video editing site’s work probably won’t be honored at the Oscars any time soon, the premise is pretty impressive. Magisto takes your raw video footage and packages it up automatically, so you can share with friends and family. Clearly, the company isn’t aiming for the auteur market: The home page asks, “Isn’t video editing too complicated and time-consuming?” If you answered yes to that, then its promise does indeed sound appealing: “Magisto picks out all the best parts and edits them together automatically, so you can have a great video of your trip to share with your friends and family in minutes.” You can submit up to 600 megabytes from 16 video files to compile into one short highlight reel. Just add a title and select a soundtrack (or upload your own), and voila.


The upside: Next time your cousin wants to show you footage of his trip to Yosemite, you’ll only have to maintain your impressed face for a few minutes—and maybe that five-minute shot of him fiddling with zoom and focus will be left on Magisto’s proverbial cutting-room floor.

If this has you a little frightened, consider coming to the Sept. 29 Future Tense event on robots encroaching on white-collar jobs, featuring certified human (and Slate Technology columnist) Farhad Manjoo. It’ll be held at the New America Foundation office in Washington, D.C. If you won’t be in town, have no fear: We’re webcasting.

Read more on Mashable.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Torie Bosch is the editor of Future Tense, a project of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State that looks at the implications of new technologies. 



Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The Simpsons World App Is Here, and Nearly Perfect


“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.


The Right to Run

If you can vote, you should be able to run for public office—any office.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 2:05 PM Paul Farmer Says Up to Ninety Percent of Those Infected Should Survive Ebola. Is He Right?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Oct. 22 2014 4:45 PM Welcome to 13th Grade! Several Oregon high schools are offering a fifth year of high school. Every district should consider it.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.