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Digital Video Playout, Artificial Intelligence, AI, ibm, microsoft
Wondering if AI could help you? Here's how to tell
Monday, January 7, 2019

AI is here. (Perhaps you've heard.) In the media space, IBM, Microsoft and so many others claim their offerings can analyse your content to tell you who said what, what’s in it, and so on. You might be considering this potentially powerful resource. You might also be considering the following questions: 

  1. Does AI actually work?
  2. How do I make it work for me?

Does AI actually work?

Yes, but not in the way you might think. AI, in relation to asset management, comes as functions. The question is not ‘can some humanoid figure make the coffee and put the shopping away,’ fortunately. It is instead about the useful application of discrete functions such as Speech to Text, Object and People Recognition, etc. 

The question of whether these functions "work" is down to what you want to achieve. If you want help with landing a lunar rocket, maybe you need to look elsewhere. If you need help with doing the heavy lifting of making your media assets highly valuable, AI can be your friend. 

When your media assets are easy to find, easier to use, powerfully automated, highly described and more meaningfully integrated to other systems, you can achieve so much more. It’s unlikely that your KPIs are: ‘spend ten hours a week manually entering metadata’ or, ‘become an expert in managing multiple asset versions and remembering where they are.’ So, AI works when it can help you with what you’re not paid to do so you can achieve more of the results you need. Much of AI is already good enough for that today, and it’s only going to get better. 

How do I make it work for me?

We are talking about a specific branch of AI which Microsoft, at least, calls Cognitive Services. You feed a media asset to the AI ‘bot’ and it sends back a vast amount of descriptive data in machine-readable structures. To make it work for you, there are two problems to overcome: 

  1. you need to move a small copy of  the media assets (you probably have thousands) to the AI services which are normally in the cloud
  2. and you need to manage the reams of descriptive ‘metadata’ which come back

And you probably do not want to rip out the asset management and other systems you already have in place. System integrators or your existing tech vendors will happily bring their services teams along to solve this problem, of course. But there might be a better way. 

The potential of AI in media is exceptional. Once you have the descriptive data back, you have the power to enhance integrations, accelerate consumer experiences, make automated content-aware process decisions and extract value out of long-lost assets. 

Ooyala’s Flex Media Platform brings AI into your existing creative world, to do the heavy lifting for you, and raise the potential of your media offering. 

Mark Rawlings-Smith
Mark is an aspiring veteran of the broadcast world with over two decades of experience of evangelising great technologies across major organisations.
With a passion to simply make things work better, his work has led him to Ooyala where he is taking the world of broadcast technology to other industries to build their success in video.  
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