The EBU presented a showcase of the latest thinking and doing around generative AI and media earlier this month. The online workshop included contributions from several EBU experts as well as from public service media (PSM) organizations in Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Australia. A view from beyond the world of PSM was offered by Yves Bergquist, who heads up the AI & Blockchain in Media project at USC’s Entertainment Technology Center.
Setting the scene for the workshop were perspectives from different EBU departments. Director of Technology & Innovation Antonio Arcidiacono explained why he sees generative AI as offering the possibility of "an intimate marriage between technology and creativity" that can help build personalized and rich experiences for audiences.
Wouter Quartier, who is the EBU's Head of Digital, Transformation and Platforms, stressed that PSM organizations should aim to be the "trusted intermediators" that can help audiences cope with the overload of information that is likely to come thanks to generative AI.
And Justyna Kurczabinska, Senior Editor of News Strategy and Development, in a talk that was partly created using generative AI tools, emphasized the need for journalists themselves to be fully literate in the newly emerging tools.
EBU Members and Generative AI
Examples of how generative AI tools are already being tested and used by EBU Members came in presentations from Hilary Campilan (ABC), David Corral Hernandez (RTVE) and Antoine Multone (RTS), focusing on applications like the creation of graphics and animation, as well as AI-generated on-air presenters for both television and radio.
Complementing a presentation from François Lavoir from the EBU's Legal and Policy team, Ruth Kühn talked about the work Deutsche Welle is doing on governance and generative AI, while Ole Zachrison outlined some of the ethical questions being considered at Swedish Radio.
Yves Bergquist rounded off the workshop with a look at what generative AI means more generally for media organizations and professionals, highlighting the importance of an emerging staff profile he calls "the hacker". This is the person who runs the interface between the business organization and the data and analytics organization, he says: "The person that can take the business needs and express them in data terms, in AI terms, someone that can take data and AI and explain it to the business organizations."
Moderated by Lalya Gaye, who coordinates the AI and Data Initiative, the workshop also featured a live demonstration, led by Sébastien Noir of the T&I department, of some of the AI-based tools the EBU has been developing to support journalists and newsrooms. Members can learn more about these tools in a further workshop on 27 June, NewsDeck: newest and cutting-edge features.