Radio France hosted the inaugural EBU Horizons Hackjam on generative AI in Paris this week. More than 40 colleagues from across the EBU membership and guests gathered at the historic Maison de la Radio. The goal of this hands-on event was to explore different ideas and to generate prototypes at the end of 28 hours.

Participants were encouraged to form mixed teams across different disciplines, with both content producers and technologists participating. In all, 12 EBU Member organizations were represented from seven different countries, including Radio France, France Télévisions, France Médias Monde, Radio France Internationale, BBC, Sveriges Radio, RTV Slovenia, Westdeustcher Rundfunk, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Deutsche Welle, Radio Télévision Suisse and AVROTROS. Representatives of INA, the French national audiovisual archive, also participated.

Topics covered during the event included techniques for detecting 'fake news' or disinformation, algorithms and other measures to help journalists improve the public-service quality of their content, workflows for creating digital avatars, automated proposition of highlights for sports events, and the deployment of digital assistants to help audiences understand content better.

Prompt engineers

One key takeaway was the importance of the new role of “prompt engineer” – that is, being able to effectively instruct and exploit Large Language Models (known as LLMs, with examples including OpenAI's GPT). Another was the need to assess the appropriate places to deploy such tools in production workflows.

As the event drew to a close, each group presented their work and discussed what they learned, as well as which aspects of what they produced could be taken forward within their own organization. Without exception, each group affirmed that its work could evolve to take a place in day-to-day operations.

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