NXT Tech Symposium Explores AI, Cloud, ATSC 3.0

Yves BerquistYves Berquist
Chris Pizzurro

Chris Pizzurro

The NXT Tech Symposium gets underway today and runs through Wednesday, with an interesting slate of presentations and discussions on some of the hottest technology trends in media. The NXT Tech Symposium is produced in partnership with Entertainment Technology Center and Story Tech.

The symposium kicks off with a series of discussions on the state of artificial intelligence in the industry, starting with “How Emerging Technologies Like AI Will Affect the Media Landscape,” led by David Mowrey, vice president for project management and business development for IBM. There will be four presentations by experts in AI.

One of the session moderators today will be Yves Bergquist, CEO of Corto and the director of the AI & Neuroscience in Media Project at the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California.

Yves Berquist

Yves Berquist

His session is titled, “Influencers in AI: The Ethical Implications of AI in Entertainment.”

“This has become a rising concern in the industry, so we will address the various aspects of the question and suggest some solutions,” he said. “For example, we will talk about how to overcome biases in training data, how to create machine-learning models that can be transparent and legible, and how to create virtual characters that are capable of rich, open-domain conversations, while being mindful of ‘appropriateness.’”

NAB Show is the right place for this discussion, as Bergquist pointed out that AI is poised to transform the media industry.

“There are increasing concerns about misuses of this technology,” he said. “Getting in front of these ethical issues is critical to ‘get AI right.’”

The AI theme continues on Tuesday afternoon, with three sessions delving into the entertainment aspects of artificial intelligence.

At 2:30 p.m., the discussion will focus on how AI real-time data is working to make ad and promo insertion smarter across multiple platforms, such as live TV and VOD.

One of the speakers for this session will be Chris Pizzurro, head of sales and marketing for Canoe.

“Ad revenue makes up a major portion of how programs get paid for their content,” Pizzurro said. “It used to be that a programming network could just broadcast out a show, one platform-to-many people, and sell advertising against that big number.

But now, there are so many distribution points for the programmer, it is challenging to get ads out to the new world of ‘many-platforms-to-many people.’ Intelligent data can make the process much more efficient, but it can also be more difficult if not done correctly.”

With so much AI content in the NXT Tech Symposium, Bergquist thinks that a large segment of NAB Show attendees will find the presentations of interest.

“The target audience is very wide, from creative executives eager to learn about how AI can be applied to create entertainment products, to technical executives, engineers, data scientists and research executives interested in how AI will change their work,” he said.

On Wednesday, the focus turns to the topic of the cloud, with presentations on preservation of content, cloud-based production and quantum computing. The final NXT Tech Symposium session will explore the latest OTA transmission standard: “ATSC 3.0 Overview: With the Industry Standing Behind It, What Needs to Happen Now for Next Gen TV to Thrive?”