CES Panel: AI Poised to Change the Entertainment Ecosystem

CTA senior director of publications Cindy Stevens looked at the various ways — from scriptwriting to production — that artificial intelligence can be integrated into entertainment. “Some people are afraid their creative talents could be replaced by machines,” she said. Comcast senior vice president of digital home, devices and AI Fraser Stirling, who noted that he prefers to use the term “machine learning,” is using it for deep search among other tasks. One project is to turn a three-hour NFL game into snackable pieces.

Nokia Technologies vice president of digital media Paul Melin (below, right) reported that his company is investigating codecs for the bigger data files resulting from immersive content. At Dolby Laboratories, chief scientist Poppy Crum (below, left) reported that her company develops technologies for both creators and consumers.

“Machine learning and AI are becoming ubiquitous at every step,” she said.

Opaque Studios co-founder/chief product officer Mariana Acuña Acosta noted that, in a production studio, AI can be used for everything from facial performance capture to real-time green-screen compositing.

In terms of improvements in the use of AI in entertainment, Stirling pointed to recommendations. “Recommendations have been around for a decade,” he said. “But they’re now a lot more subtle than they used to be, so you get a lot more engagement.” Melin noted that, “AI and machine learning add meaning to the content, which opens up an innovation platform.”

“The content isn’t just a mass of pixels,” he said. “You can use the understanding to enhance the quality of the content.” As to the small steps forward he’s seen, he pointed out technology to recognize people in videos. “The user experience on top of that is limitless, although I don’t know what it will be,” he said.

Crum identified “three big areas where you’re seeing a lot of change in the entertainment industry.” “The professional workflow is being completely disrupted with more ability to save cost, have virtual camera angles — all reduced to intelligent algorithms to create an enhanced experience,” she said. “Second you have democratization with the ability of consumers to create content that previously only professionals could. And, third, there are bottlenecks for how to experience content, and those experiences are becoming intelligent, which closes the loop.”

Acuña Acosta pointed out that AI is impacting everything from scriptwriting to marketing. “We can accurately predict which shows people will like best,” she said. “Another platforms can read scripts and accurately predict which scripts are going to be a big hit. You’ll get more customized experiences.”

Crum is interested in how sensory experiences can be translated to the consumer. “Leo Tolstoy defined art as when the intent of the creator was experienced by the reader,” she said. “That will be a big part of our technologies going forward.”