Frédéric Brochard, CTO/CIO, France Télévisions
Today, artificial intelligence already enables us to increase our potential and supports our public service remit by improving, for example, the accessibility of our 24/7 news channel franceinfo with the imminent deployment of semi-automatic 24/7 subtitling intended for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Collaboration & virtualization
Due to changing contexts, illustrated by the major COVID-19 crisis, and new modes of programme consumption, a successful business transformation requires us to be ever more mobile and scalable. Staying ahead of changes in collaboration methods and business needs therefore becomes a priority. The virtualization and flexibility of our technical ecosystem, far from signifying greater individualization, allows us to maintain proximity and increased collaboration in all circumstances. The tools adapt and make it easier to ‘do it together’ by abolishing distances and physical or geographic requirements.
Offering virtualized and secure systems, incorporating the latest innovations available from ordinary laptops, accessible with one click from anywhere in the world, allows our specialists to focus on their value-creating activities. The recent deployment of an office suite as SaaS (Microsoft Office 365), remote production, or even the virtualization of the entire news editing process (Dalet Galaxy xCloud), are only individual steps towards greater sharing, facilitated communication, and the development of collective intelligence assisted by AI.
Moreover, other innovations, such as the development of open-source smart TV technologies, or even 5G, are encouraged by the development of synergies through our collaborations and our sharing of experiences with other players from the French public service audiovisual sector and within the EBU.
Essential role for EBU
All European public service broadcasters face the same challenges – adapting to new uses, new competition, the proliferation of technologies and distribution channels – while resources stagnate or even decrease in most cases. However, it is unthinkable to reduce the resources allocated to content creation, so it becomes necessary to find new levers. This is where I see the role of the EBU as critical in bringing together experts and interested Members around a topic.
However, it seems essential to me to focus energies on the most interesting activities and with the highest added value for as many Members as possible. I am convinced that CTOs are in the best position to determine the strategic axes to be followed thanks to their scope of action within their company. I hope that, in the near future, we can convene a discussion among CTOs in order to help the EBU’s Technology & Innovation department and the Technical Committee to direct the work towards the most strategic and significant projects.
The health crisis has confirmed the importance of our public service remits and the social ties that we have helped to maintain, through our education, information and culture offers. It is up to us to confirm that the ties that bind our companies will enable us to meet the challenges of tomorrow!
This article was first published in issue 47 of tech-i magazine.