IBC Daily IBC2018 - Day 1 - Friday 14 September - Page 8

08 STAYCONNECTED BBC R&D to trial AI toolkit for storytelling show.ibc.org I #IBC2018 Pursuing the extraordinary Armstrong: The ambition is to “enable different paths to be explored by the viewer” Lounge Talk By David Wood BBC senior research engineer Mike Armstrong is to lead a trial of a prototype toolkit for AI storytelling which was first unveiled at IBC last year. The BBC R&D project includes a challenge to filmmakers at Bristol Encounters, a UK-based short film festival focusing on animation and VR, to create new narrative experiences. “To build these experiences ordinarily you have to write code, but our ambition in creating this toolkit will be to offer a ‘drag and drop’ web interface, allowing programme makers to use these algorithms to develop new forms of content,” Armstrong told IBC Daily. “The aim is to use algorithms to produce storytelling experiences more like a city tour guide, which can tailor content to different individuals’ level of interest or expertise and direct people down different paths.” The BBC has been working over the past year with a team from Edinburgh University on successfully applying AI techniques to storytelling metadata, with the ambition of creating personalised media experiences such as a virtual museum guide. “You could imagine taking a programming archive and putting together a series of 2-3 minute clips and instead of curating one path you would enable different paths to be explored by the viewer.” Armstrong was taking part in an IBC Lounge Talk: From Epic Poetry to AI: Discovering viable algorithms for creating responsive media, chaired by Allan McLennan, CEO of The Padem Group. SES readies for significant UHD growth SES By Chris Forrester Satellite operator SES says that there are now more than 100 channels broadcasting in UHD via satellite, and that it expects UHD screens to be in every third home in the US and every sixth home in Europe by the end of this year. Ferdinand Kayser, SES Video CEO, speaking at an IBC press briefing, said globally there are now more than 70 million UHD-capable STBs installed in TV homes, 53 million of them in Asia, in particular in China. “In Europe and North America, there are now more than 15 million homes able to watch UHD, and close to 8 million homes use satellite to receive UHD programming.” SES is the operator carrying most HD channels (2700) and UHD (50, or 44% of worldwide UHD) channels around the world. Kayser also talked about the much-rumoured ‘death’ of linear TV, saying that in most Western markets the number of hours spent watching TV is up: “In the UK in 2018, 291 minutes a day are being spent across viewing formats compared with 230 minutes in 2008. Germany is only slightly lower than the UK, consuming 254 minutes in 2018, compared with 208 minutes in 2008.” Kayser stressed that recent experiences of streaming live sport via OTT had shown up problems, both with service outages and considerable signal latency, and “not a problem with satellite delivery”. He also addressed service expansion for SES, with the number of TV homes growing and digital switchover still to happen in many markets. “We expect 262 million new homes by 2023, and, on top, 300 million analogue homes around the world are still left to be digitised. In the Asia- Pacific region 170 million new homes are still left to get service and 188 million analogue homes are left to be switched over.” 1.B51, 1.BS10, 1.BS11 Arcidiacono: “You need the guts to persuade people to work together” EBU By George Jarrett AI and 5G are among the technologies that will help broadcasters to compete with th e likes of Amazon and Netflix, according to Antonio Arcidiacono, the new director of technology and innovation at the EBU. Arcidiacono said he jumped at the chance to exit Eutelsat after 28 years because, “it was the opportunity to develop new ideas that I had in mind for many years, but could not do at a satellite operation. “The space is much wider. Coming from a public company, I feel like I’m in a kind of family,” he added. “People come from many different countries but they are all public broadcasters so they can collaborate easily. For decades, they were under little pressure, but today they are pressured to do create great things together.” “The window into the next decade is interesting because we have the challenge from big players like Netflix and Amazon,” he said. “This is pushing EBU people to do something much more extraordinary. “Gladly we have the technologies (AI and 5G) which give us all the bricks to invent new products. It is a challenge, but the laws of physics always help in adding compatibility between systems,” he said. However, Arcidiacono has one big concern. He said: “What worries me is the level at which we will be able to pool resources and deliver results. Projects by nature are short to medium term and you need the guts to persuade people to work together.” Arcidiacono had the intuition that broadcasting and IP would wed in 1995. “The combination of what can be done in pure broadcasting and IP/IT activity is the real value to construct. The IP layer is the kind of Esperanto middle that is going to plug all other systems inside,” he said. “5G people are now recognising that the pure broadcast network is what they need if they want to deliver live content of value. This is where the convergence is happening,” he added. 10.F20