Al Jazeera’s Future of Media Leaders’ Summit 2018 explored artificial intelligence (AI) and the augmented newsroom on Tuesday, the second and final day of the event.
The day’s proceedings got under way with a series of keynote addresses by dignitaries and panels discussing ‘Media and Cloud - Limitless Possibilities’.
It followed on from a successful first day discussing ‘Cloud and Security’.
On Monday afternoon following keynotes, the summit broke down into specialist parallel sessions to discuss how the cloud is transforming their working environment, increasing collaboration and even changing approaches to issues such as disaster management, as Herve Pavard, chief technology officer at French channel TF1 explained.
The panels debated new innovations such as Eluvio’s use of the blockchain for smart contracts, allowing suppliers and users to seamlessly record transactions through distributed ledger technology, and discussed the advantages of the automation and scalability that the cloud will provide.
In the evening, Abdullah AlNajjar, Al Jazeera’s executive director of Global Brand and Communications, addressed the audience at the gala dinner, saying: “We have come to be known as the media network where the world conducts debate, dialogue and informed conversation. It is global space for free expression that needs to be protected.”
He reiterated Al Jazeera’s 'commitment to a free and independent media' through its global #demandpressfreedom campaign.
A panel discussion at the summit.
This provided the context for Tuesday’s detailed exploration of artificial intelligence and augmented reality.
Dr Mostefa Souag, acting director-general of Al Jazeera Media Network, said: “The purpose of organising such an event is to seek - through acquaintance, dialogue and discussions - to highlight the most important challenges faced by contemporary media, which present themselves with the adoption of new technology and innovation.”
The opening keynote was delivered by Yves Bergquist, from the Entertainment Technology Centre at University of Southern California, and corto.ai, on ‘Ethics and Implications of AI for the Media Industry’.
He clarified the differences between machine learning and machine understanding, and explained in depth how his technology is “numerically vectoring nuance” - enabling machines to understand the complex variety of humanity for the first time.
The applications for this in the media are manifold, and will help the media navigate an increasingly information-flooded news cycle. Commenting on the implications for job security in an AI-driven future, he said “88% of jobs are staff-based, and if we are not careful with AI, we may alienate our own society. Business values must not be divorced from our human values”.
Ali Shah, head of Emerging Technology and Strategic Direction at BBC, gave a presentation on ‘The Value of AI in Media’.
Following the keynote, in a panel on robot reporting and asking if journalists are becoming an endangered species, Ingrid Silver of Reed Smith moderated experts, including Dr Yasir Bishr, executive director of Digital from Al Jazeera, Shah from BBC, Rainer Kellerhals from Microsoft and Dr Ahmed from Qatar Computing and Research Institute.
Lunch was followed by a keynote by Tom Cordiner, senior vice-president at Avid, speaking on ‘True Global Enablement in the Newsrooms of Tomorrow’.
The summit then featured panels discussing and analysing the future of TV+ in depth.
The third annual Future of Media Leaders’ Summit is planned for next year.