Exclusives

Harvard Fellow Keynotes on M&E’s Data Challenge at Smart Content West

At the March 9 Smart Content Summit West in Los Angeles, media and entertainment executives will hear about the latest industry advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, the adoption of industry-wide metadata models, and making the entertainment supply chain ‘smart.’

And when Amber Case — TED Speaker, author, fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, and visiting researcher at the MIT Media Lab — delivers her keynote, attendees will hear all about data, and how it fits into the future of the media and entertainment business.

Her presentation — “An Inconvenient (Data) Truth – Integrating Data Across All Business Units” — will look at how master data has become the most important asset for content companies aiming to scale their businesses. But the “inconvenient” part media and entertainment companies need to accept is that the data structures many are using are failing, due to a lack of standardized metadata structures.

“First, I’ll discuss how many devices there are going to be by 2020 — 50 billion of them — and how we always think of this perfect future where technology will solve all of our problems,” Case said of her presentation. “Yet we already have so many issues with our attention spans, and that’s going to be a problem: our attention will be a scarce resource.

“So how do we formulate all this information we give to people, without distracting from what should be our primary focus, which is being human and having analytical thoughts?”

She believes the answer is “calm” technology, instead of the interruptive technology seen today. “We’ll look at what’s distractive, and then we’ll look at how to deal with that,” Case said, sharing that she has eight principles of designing technology in that way, with examples.

For the media and entertainment sector specifically, companies are dealing with just too much information, and are finding themselves “completely overwhelmed,” with not enough effort put into making what the influx of information means, and how it can be made actionable.

“Part of it is ignoring the data when you don’t need it,” Case said. “When you get too much information, it compresses together, like hearing a doorbell every 10 seconds. You’re going to ignore it. However, if you only get notified when statistically significant things happen, then you’ll be able to pay better attention with what you have.”

And Case’s presentation will also see her tackle the state of standardization, specifically around metadata, and the importance of having everyone working off the same page. “I don’t think we’re close at all, and instead of trying to just get to one standard, I do think all of the different information, how things are coded in different databases, can be easily read,” she said.

Smart Content West is produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA), with Ad-ID, the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, the Hollywood IT Society (HITS) and the Smart Content Council serving as association partners.

The conference is sponsored by MarkLogic, TiVo, GrayMeta, Microsoft Azure, Nuxeo, FilmTrack, NeuLion, Avanade and Crawford Media Services.

To register, click here.

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