The Cloud, AI And The Future Of Television

13th June, 2017 by
As a species, we’ve gone from burning each other at the stake for predicting the future to making careers out of it.

So now that we’re in the clear, let’s have a look at how AI and machine learning will affect the future of broadcasting.

Tag! You’re It!

We know what the first step is because it’s already happening. Broadcasting pioneers C-SPAN are using Amazon’s picture recognition systems to identify and tag new speakers every time they speak. The end result is a powerful searchable video library which users can access to find every time President Trump mentions Putin or cross-reference Bernie Sanders and climate change. Before the system was in place interns and station workers would dial it in by hand. The process was so time-consuming that the company suspects over half of the footage they aired had no tags at all.

Caught in the Net

Another clever use of AI, or machine learning, that we already familiar with belongs to Netflix. Netflix is one of the leading disruptors in the home entrainment field and already uses AI to analyze viewer data. Another clever innovation the company has developed is a next-generation deep learning algorithm, which can analyze each frame in a stream and compress it in real time so it doesn’t affect the image quality. The upshot of this awesome new algorithm is that regardless of the speed of the internet signal, the picture still looks clear. The company developed the technique to cater to its Indian and Asian customers, more and more of whom are streaming on mobile devices.

Box Office Flop   

Another big player in AI is IBM’s Watson. In a blatant PR stunt, Fox Movies approached IBM and asked them if Watson could develop a trailer for their AI thriller Morgan. Watson analyzed the movie and was able to identify scenes where there was lots of action and also where there were emotional moments. Sadly, the kooky trailer couldn’t stop the movie from becoming one of the biggest flops of the summer, proving that even AI can’t polish a turkey… you know what we meant.

Follow the Money

In terms of broadcasting, it will come as no surprise that one of the most anticipated and best-researched uses of machine learning and AI, focuses on advertising revenue. Bonneville International, a leading broadcaster has partnered with Veritone, a pioneer of cloud-based AI. The partnership is looking for ways to analyzing viewing data in as close to real-time as possible. The aim is to create a real-time actionable network where advertisers can put their message right in front of those they are seeking to influence.  Money is always going to be a major player in new technology and if you want to know where AI and Broadcasting are heading, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on these two.

What would Sarah Connor say?

AI is also set to invade our homes on a more personal level. Chinese Tech company  Xiaomi recently announced the world’s first AI television. The Mi TV 3S will use a variety of machine learning techniques, speech recognition and number crunching to identify its owner’s viewing habits. Reports suggest it will be able to make viewing recommendations and also screen content for children. Perhaps most controversially, the Mi TV 3S will be able to access streaming services from all over the world, meaning there’s a good chance it will be able to find loopholes to watch pretty much anything. Quite what else the Mi TV 3S could be learning is anyone’s guess, but let’s be honest it won’t be long before someone in a tinfoil hat decides it’s trying to take over the world.  

They Took Our Jobs!

As with the rest of the world, the field of broadcasting will be affected by AI and in some cases more than most. But by the look of where the technology is going, it appears it will create more jobs than it steals. Indeed there is a blossoming new field of technology dedicated to merging broadcasting, home entertainment and artificial intelligence, so we’re a long way from the machine takeover and Max Headroom just yet. 

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