Kazim Pektaş, Chief Engineer for Studio Planning and Programme Transmission Systems, TRT

Since the dawn of time, humans have discovered and invented, and this will never end. We have searched for what we discovered and valued on our planet; for rare items such as gold and diamonds, we have spent much more effort. The only thing we could not find in these mining areas with so many valuable elements were ones that would help us to understand humans.

Understanding the most complex living thing ever created is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks in the universe. The science of archaeology has helped us understand the lifestyles and cultures of societies living in the past, but thoughts, dreams and feelings of individuals have remained unknown.

Understand the audience

People make friends with those who understand them and with whom they can explain themselves best. As public broadcasters, the secret to retaining our audience is to be the one who understands them. Everything we learn about them will boost our ability to achieve our indispensable goals.

The invention of computers, followed by the birth of the internet, was arguably the greatest silent revolution of the 20th century. Computers, which have become smaller over time, have expanded our horizons: we now carry the world in our hands and experience the richness and joy of being able to reach and feel a global community.

When we connected computers to each other, we invited billions of people to live in a huge virtual universe, and the masses of data we produce there has become our new mine. One of the most important features that distinguishes this mine from others is that it is also alive. It allows us to understand not only people’s past but also what drives them.

We just need to refine these masses of data to extract the hidden elements that can help us to understand the most difficult one, humans. Revealing complex relationships hidden in huge data piles and making them understandable and readable is often impossible with human power. Physical limitations such as insufficient processing power and time may be among the reasons, but the most important obstacle is perhaps the mental blocks that have been created in our minds. At that point we need something that has no mental blocks; it is AI.

The refining process, made possible by AI, has a significant difference from others: we have always searched for elements and objects that we know, but AI has the ability to find many more relationships, among different data, enabling us to discover and understand thousands, millions of features previously unknown or unnoticed. If we successfully combine our knowledge and the information we extract from data, it will allow us to shape our thoughts and our approach in ways we could never have imagined.

It will no longer be sufficient to use existing technological instruments in harmony; we must also create separate compositions for each audience member. Opening the door to a different world for each audience member by producing personalized content will be an indication of the importance we attach to each of them. While AI can make new discoveries, it also has the ability to produce new works from the features it discovers. When we combine the refining features of AI and its generative power, we will be able to achieve our goal of producing personalized content more easily.

In the media industry, our digital adventure, which began with converting light, sound and text into binary numbers, and continued with digitalization and digital transformation, has now gained a new dimension with the AI revolution.

In order to remain one step ahead of existing developments, the most important thing we, the broadcasters, need to do is make our mindsets more flexible than ever. Otherwise, television sets will just be empty boxes emitting light from screens that no eye looks at or cares about.

This article first appeared in issue 60 of EBU tech-i magazine.

Latest news