Cutting Costs and Unleashing Creativity: AI in the TV Industry.

Author:Bancroft, Michael

"It exceeded our wildest expectations."

Those were the words used by Dr. Simon Ziegler (Toby Jones) to describe the artificial intelligence (AI)-based protagonist in the trailer for the Hollywood thriller Morgan. Yet they could just as easily describe the producer of the trailer itself: none other than IBM's Watson AI.

The AI platform needed just 24 hours to create the piece and drop the jaws of film creatives everywhere. It was a groundbreaking application of AI in the media business and a reminder of just how influential the technology will be in the years to come.

The potential of artificial intelligence to revolutionize media and entertainment isn't lost on industry executives. A recent industry survey by adtech firm Xaxis and IAB Europe found that 80 percent of respondents believe AI will have an impact similar to that of the industrial revolution, while 62 percent believe the technology will improve strategic decision-making, and 41 percent see it yielding competitive advantages. However, the most telling response of the survey is that 30 percent of advertisers and publishers are not clear about how artificial intelligence can be used in their work.

That's no surprise given how nascent the technology is in its development in traditional media and broadcasting circles. With that in mind, here's a look at how AI can transform not just the production of media content, but its distribution and marketing, as well.

Famed television producer Mark Burnett once remarked that for every televised hour of the hit reality drama The Apprentice, as many as 300 hours of footage was filmed.

Needless to say, that's a tremendous amount of content to whittle down in the editing room! Post-production staff everywhere can relate as they typically spend hour upon hour cutting, tagging, and archiving clips for later use.

It's precisely these sorts of mundane and tedious tasks that are a perfect fit for AI: they're highly repetitive, formulaic, and require almost no critical thinking. A recent study by Accenture predicts that the application of AI technologies to these business tasks will increase labor productivity by as much as 40 percent! Most importantly, it will free up human staff to focus on the creative work that drives value for television productions, work that only they can do.

A start-up called Clarifai is already using artificial intelligence to drastically cut down the burden on video editors. The company and its partner, Vintage Cloud, have launched a platform that uses algorithms and computer vision technology to recognize objects that appear in film and categorize them accordingly. What would take humans dozens of hours to sort through takes the machine a fraction of the time, with the added benefit of being more consistent in its classification than a team...

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