NAB 2018: Artificial Intelligence

The National Association of Broadcasters Show featured a series of panels discussing the topic of artificial intelligence and machine learning. With the advances in technology today, there are so many different ways AI tech is being used right now. In the use of the algorithms of Google, to the popular home necessity, the Amazon Alexa. The panels presented during the NAB show, focused on how AI and machine learning is changing the media landscape.

NAB 2018 AI

Whether it is through production or video editing, AI is beneficial and is continuing to grow to better the broadcasting industry. The panel titled, “How AI Will Take Productivity in the Broadcast Industry to the Next Level” presented by Dr. Johan Vounckx, explained how machine neural networks are being developed that can teach computers to read and then be able to make connections through the content it discovers.  By developing these systems of networks, computers will be able to put together conclusions and provide output that can be based the system researched. Computer algorithms like this are already being tested in spotting ‘fake news’ generated by unverified sources and helping people identify and verify sources accurately.

With broadcasting, we can use AI to “crop and zoom to ensure the best part of the video is placed in the desired size and aspect ratio.” This will give AI a bright future that will increase the uses of helpful AI that will better our jobs and allow us to go beyond in broadcasting. Dr. Johan Vounckx also explained that “AI helps people, it does not replace them.”

The panel titled, “AI Driven Smart Production,” presented by Yuko Yamanouchi from the Science and Technology Research Lab NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation, explained how AI can benefit the news and sports broadcasting industries. She explained how Smart Production is used for news gathering and editing with big data analysis. An example would be a social media analysis system, that can extract tweets that might be useful for news production, using a “recent neural network, categorizing information into 24 types such as ‘fire’ or ‘accident.’” This use of AI can help in searching for news and updates on ongoing stories with the news industry.

Yamanouchi also explained how in broadcasting footage, smart production or AI technology can be helpful in face recognition of the live broadcast that can be modified for those hard of hearing or hard of seeing can understand what is going on during the live broadcast. The AI would be an animated person that would sign what is being said during a live sports broadcast, or an animated voice would be able to explain what is happening in the shot of the live broadcast, explaining in detail the events on screen.

The panel, “Cantemo: How Could Artificial Intelligence Help Us Better Manage Video Content?” presented by Mike Szumlinski, manager at North American Cantemo brought to light just how AI is already being used by companies and consumers and what to expect or can be expected in the future. He explained how AI can be used with strategic storytelling, and how video producers achieve their goals more efficiently and effectively, thus speeding along access to information and helping collate it. Szumlinski also explained how “The machines are not taking over (yet)” as the main purpose for AI is just helping achieve better results for video producing.

In the use of AI, he explained how with audio transcription, the use of natural-language processing to identify all audio contents of a video clip will still need human guidance as words can hold different meanings in different locations and cultures. Szumlinski explained how AI can be beneficial in video producing as it can detect emotions and identify the ten best shots to form a trailer for a film. With personalizing content, AI is already in use with algorithms to personalize content for individuals based on the information about them on mass scale.

AI was also presented during the NAB show in the exhibits of companies that use algorithms and machine learning as well as AI with their content and products. An example of companies that were attending the NAB and use AI and/or machine learning include, Google and their use of algorithms to provide the best content for its users, Amazon and their use of algorithms and machine learning with providing content and products and in their use of the Amazon Alexa, EchoStreams, who is a server platform provider that uses machine learning and AI, and ICX Media who use machine learning and AI in their server platform for data-inspired storytelling and in helping video creations, and distributions.

The NAB Show showcased AI technology and the advancements being made in the media and broadcasting industry. As the world of digital media continues to make progress with technological advancements, who knows what will be showcased in the years to come.

-Taylor Horvatich

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