Artificial Intelligence at NAB 2018: real world applications

Artificial Intelligence is a buzzword at the 2018 NAB Show, and while some of its promises may be hype, it does feature in practical applications, demonstrating its potential to improve efficiency in certain areas.

Artificial Intelligence at NAB 2018: real world applications

From local news to sport production, from delivery to remote locations to indexing and storage, Artificial Intelligence seems to be everywhere. We picked some of the solutions on show at NAB 2018.

While you may think AI is only to be applied on a global scale, the truth is that even local markets can benefit from its introduction. That’s something that Ethan Dreilinger, solutions engineer for Watson Media and IBM Cloud Video told attendees to the panel “AI for the Local Media Market”, where the panelists examined real-world use cases for putting AI to work at media organizations such as making production smarter and more efficient, creating personalized and relevant content experiences for users and providing more targeted and effective advertising offerings for clients.

IBM Watson Media is an example of the diverse areas where AI can be used. The company offers solutions that “enable you to infuse AI throughout your media workflow or video library – unearthing opportunities to improve monetization, viewer engagement, content performance, ad revenues, and more.”

AI is mostly used, now, to search metadata and captioning, but the range of areas where it can be used is growing, while the costs of implementation are reduced. Watson Captioning, for example, promises accurate, compliant, and easily editable captions for your video content, saving you time and money along the way. It offers automated caption generation, allows to finalize caption with an easy-to- use editor, is faster than real-time and is self-learning, meaning it becomes more accurate with every use.

Artificial Intelligence at NAB 2018: real world applications


Video highlights with AI

Watson Media, though, uses AI other ways, with Watson Video Enrichment being an example. Using industry-leading AI to analyze multimedia content, it then builds easily searchable metadata packages for every asset in your library. This allows for an understanding of video content on a much deeper level, allowing to use it to create stronger viewer engagement, improved content search and discovery, recommendation uplift and… new monetization opportunities.

Real-time highlight clipping is one area where Watson Media can help sports broadcasters needing to create video highlights. Watson automatically watches, identifies and clips those must-see moments, basing its decision on the cheer of the crowd and other key elements, as players reaction, to define the best segments.

Artificial Intelligence and IP seem to go hand-in-hand when it comes to the future, and at NAB 2018 Mobile Viewpoint showcases not only new products that use Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) to automate low-cost delivery of content from remote locations, and improve efficiency of content indexing, storage, and search, but the company also exhibit its broader range of IP contribution solutions.

Artificial Intelligence at NAB 2018: real world applications
The automated studio is coming

Mobile Viewpoint is incorporating AI capabilities into two new products that allow smaller broadcasters and brand owners to automate live content production and delivery without having to invest in costly camera crews, production facilities and distribution platforms. They are targeted at sports stadia and other live events, including studio and field news production.  In addition, Mobile Viewpoint also introduced a new Smart storage solution that uses AI for voice, object and speech recognition to enhance video content indexing, logging and search.

The AI-driven News Pilot is presented as an “automated news direction and cameraman in one” offering “intelligent, unmanned, low-cost live production of news”. It’s a fully-automated software solution based on AI algorithms that automatically switches and controls PTZ cameras, plays graphics and stored content by analyzing 3D video images and audio signals from the TV studio. Automated Studio mimics a real director, leaving the presenters to do what they are good at, which is making a live broadcast.

This automated studio products enables broadcasters to make completely automated news productions without the need of a cameraman or director. A set of 3 controlled camera’s, a switcher and graphics engine controlled by MVP’s Virtual Director software will create a vivid and accurate capture of any interview or news production.

Artificial Intelligence at NAB 2018: real world applications

AI to reduce camera crews

The second product, IQ Sports Producer, allows for “intelligent, low-cost live production and streaming of field sports with just one camera!”, according to Mobile Viewpoint. The IP Sports Producer “makes live and on demand web broadcasting available without the hassle of setting up multiple cameras and hiring a camera crew”, says the company. The system provides an automated video broadcast production with a one 180 degrees camera installation. With this technology, cost effective cameras can be used for complete coverage of the playing field. A pan and zoomed image is automatic created by special developed game tracking technology.

Mobile Viewpoint’s solutions may raise some eyebrows, as many of these AI-driven solutions seem to make, but they meet the broadcasters’ requirements for fast, simple and cost-efficient content contribution as they adapt their strategies to meet the rapid rise in online content consumption. Alongside its new AI-based solutions, Mobile Viewpoint also exhibits its complete Multicam Wireless IP transmission portfolio at NAB, which includes the WMT TerraLink-4C Multicam rack mount bonded transmitter, and the WMT AirLink H.265-enabled encoder backpack device. Both transmitters feature multiple (2-4) H.265- encoders and 8 channel audio, enabling multicamera, OB and 360 productions that can be remotely controlled.

Michel Bais, CEO at Mobile Viewpoint said: “As the industry continues to adapt to new consumption habits and a thirst for live content grows, broadcasters must adapt to new ways of working. We are also adapting our solutions to meet those needs: artificial intelligence will bring new and exciting capabilities to the next generation of content solutions, and we’re delighted to be able to showcase our own AI products at NAB this year. These will add to our existing, strong line-up of mobile content contribution solutions, already in use globally with customers such as BBC News and Sky Sports.”

Artificial Intelligence at NAB 2018: real world applications

Reduce costs, boost revenues

Presented as the world’s most comprehensive live event support tool and a major breakthrough in sports production,  SMARTLIVE, from Tedial, is a totally unique development in the industry which leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to increase the number of highlights created automatically, thus reducing production costs and boosting revenues for production companies.

SMARTLIVE is a flexible solution to manage live event content: Produce, live Catalog, Archive, Transform and Deliver Sport content to maximize content visibility and monetization in the moment it is happening. The company responsible for the solution, Tedial, says that what makes SMARTLIVE unique in the industry is its capacity to, before any action happens, “ingest a LIVE data feed and automatically create an event inside its metadata engine. Simultaneously SMARTLIVE automatically creates the corresponding log sheets, the player grids and a schedule of the event.  All these preparations are linked and organized by collections, so an entire season of sports events can be prepared automatically in advance.”

During events, live data is ingested, and the system can be configured to automatically create clips based on actions, keywords or logged occurrences. SMARTLIVE automatically pushes content to AI engines; video and audio recognition can be leveraged to generate additional locator data and annotate the media proxies. And the system can automatically publish clips or push content to social media platforms.

Jerome Wauthoz, VP of Products for Tedial commented, “We couldn’t be more excited to bring Broadcasters, Rights holders, Clubs, Federations, or any organization involved in live production a ground-breaking paradigm that will dramatically transform the way they automate clips and deliver content across numerous platforms, including Social Media. By tightly integrating with AI tools, SMARTLIVE can generate an increased number of highlights during or after an event, and deliver to a very targeted audience increasing the potential for significant growth in fan engagement.”

Esther Mesas, CSO/CMO for Tedial, added “Another SMARTLIVE benefit for customers, that can’t be minimized, is the substantial financial gain. Thanks to the automatic highlight engine and AI integration, preparation time and production costs are reduced with more highlights being created with the same or less staff. And more content published means more revenues for these customers.”

At NAB 2018 Tedial demonstrates SMARTLIVE’s automatic highlight creation feature, its integration with AI engines, speech to text integration annotating incoming live media, and the automated publish feature.

MRMC debuts image capture solutions at NAB 2018

MRMC small-scale studio with AI

We’ve already mentioned here at Provideo Coalition, another name associated with Artificial Intelligence, that of experts in camera robotics, MRMC, a Nikon company, that debuted at the 2018 NAB Show a new range of tracking technology and solutions offering more angles and creative control of image and video capture at sports venues, providing cost effective and reliable solutions.

With sports broadcast being a key area, where high-speed precision, flawless control and unquestionable reliability are a must,  MRMC introduced  its new Polycam Chat solution, which simplifies and augments the small-scale studio environment with AI, while minimizing footprint and production costs. The system uses face detection in combination with limb recognition for unrivaled accuracy and stability. The Polycam Chat automates the camera operation for up to four presenters and guests in one studio and can easily track a talking head with maximum stability within the frame. The simple interface makes it easy for operators to use, while the flexible platform means it can be used with a number of different broadcast camera solutions including Nikon DSLR cameras.

Artificial Intelligence at NAB 2018: real world applications

Xeebra and iconik

Another name to look for at NAB 2018 is EVS, which is demonstrating the effects integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into its video-refereeing system, Xeebra.  The new, Xeebra 2.0 versions features a new AI integration which automatically calibrates the field of play – something that’s time-consuming if done manually. As a result, setup time is significantly reduced and operators can easily place graphics onto the calibrated field with the highest level of precision to aid their decision-making process.

Another player offering solutions in artificial intelligence is Cantemo, a company introducing at NAB 2018 its iconik, a hybrid-cloud based hub for managing, sharing and collaborating on media that uses Artificial Video Intelligence to automatically tag content with timecode-based metadata upon ingestion by recognizing even minute entities and objects.

Being cloud-based, and as part of Cantemo’s continuous delivery approach, iconik is in constant development with recent updates featuring improvements to the video intelligence workflow and image analytics. iconik now supports image and video analysis using AWS Rekognition, in addition to Google’s Cloud Video Intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence at NAB 2018: real world applications

AI is accessible and powerful

Veritone used the NAB Show 2018 to announce a breakthrough in terms of real-time artificial intelligence capabilities, and to make sure the message reaches visitors, is present at different booths – Quantum booth 22125, AWS booth SU2022, NetApp booth S111LMR and Quantum booth SL8511 – where visitors can discover more information about the future of real-time cognitive processing.

Veritone’s AI operating system, aiWARE real-time framework, is scheduled to launch  in April 2018 with natural language processing (NLP) engines, and Veritone plans to expand its offering of real-time enabled engines across the rest of the company’s 15-plus cognitive categories, including transcription, sentiment, visual moderation, translation, as well as object, face, and optical character recognition, during 2018.

The groundbreaking aiWARE real-time framework will enable companies and organizations to leverage data in seconds, optimizing their workflows and compliance. In 2021, AI augmented services and applications will generate $2.9 trillion in business value and recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity, according to Gartner, Inc. (Predicts 2018: AI and the Future of Work).

“As more customers deploy and expand their use of artificial intelligence, we are increasingly seeing use cases where the speed of cognition is equally as important as accuracy and cost,” said Hong Bui, senior vice president and chief product officer at Veritone. “As a result of this upgrade, we’re now able to deliver transcription results within seconds, with best-in-class accuracy and pricing, and we believe that sub-second results will be possible in some other cognitive classes. The applications of aiWARE are limited only by our customers’ imaginations, as we continue to expand the real-time cognitive capabilities of aiWARE.”

“With this update to aiWARE, Veritone continues to show companies that AI is an accessible and powerful business tool,” said Ryan Steelberg, president of Veritone. “In the media and entertainment space, we believe that this new capability will help meet the needs of broadcasters who must adhere to FCC mandates for pre-recorded, live, and near-live programming, as well as enable faster and more cost-effective captioning.”

These are just some of the examples of artificial intelligence being used in different areas related to the industry. The list of companies mentioned here in no way represents the total of names associated with AI that made it to NAB 2018 to show their own solutions for the future. The products and solutions, together with the conferences and panels about AI, allow visitors to get a glimpse of what’s coming and the advantages and problems the technology brings.

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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…