Four projects have been shortlisted from among the 24 nominated for this year's EBU Technology & Innovation Award. The shortlist includes two projects from the BBC (UK), one from Sveriges Radio (Sweden), and one from Rai (Italy). The winning project will be announced on Wednesday 9 June at 16:30 CEST.
The complete list of nominated projects can be found here. The judging panel, comprised of the members of the EBU Technical Committee, assessed the projects independently according to fixed criteria. They could not vote for entries from their own organization.
News values – the public service algorithm
Sveriges Radio, Sweden
Sveriges Radio constructed a new editorial algorithm with the aim of giving users a more personalized mix of news stories while at the same time promoting the values of outstanding public service journalism. The algorithm, which is used to automate SR’s news playlists, centres on “news values” – a display in the content management system where editors rate each of the hundreds of news stories produced every day. They assess the magnitude of a story and its life span but also how well it fulfils the public service mission. The algorithm gives prominence to stories rated as having high public service value.
BBC News Virtual Production Tools
When the COVID-19 pandemic made it incredibly difficult to gather and broadcast news as normal, BBC's UK Operations engineers developed three virtual tools to help face the challenge. The tools have transformed newsgathering and broadcasting for BBC's news teams, making workflows easier. The three tools developed were: Toucan, for fast-turnaround remote TV interviews; Pre Rec, for quality audio on pre-recorded distanced discussions; and Virtual Audience, for connecting audiences with studios.
An avatar for sign language applications
The Rai Virtual LIS (Italian Sign Language) platform uses a virtual actor (avatar) to create new opportunities and services for Deaf people in contexts where human LIS interpreters are not provided. It relies on the latest 3D computer graphics technologies. In the past year, the platform has been enriched with two software modules: the first allows students to learn LIS and generate new content in sign language; the second downloads daily weather forecasts from the Rai Teletext service and performs an automatic translation into LIS, delivered in the form of a video.
BBC Sounds: an integrated audio platform
Sounds is the new home for radio, music and podcasts at the BBC, giving listeners a personal, relevant experience and offering them more control and flexibility. Launched in 2018, it has become the leading homegrown audio platform in the UK, providing access to over 80,000 hours of audio content from the BBC across the web, mobile, connected TVs and Amazon Alexa. It has continued to evolve, adding new features like live pause, rewind and restart for live radio, support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a new international version of the app that was launched for overseas listeners in late 2020.