IBM, Forrester: AI Can Be Used to Improve How Employees Create, Consume Video

Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used by organizations to significantly enhance how employees can create and consume video, according to IBM Watson Media and Forrester Research.

An increasing number of companies are turning to video to help employees feel truly engaged amidst rapidly changing work dynamics, but there is more that companies can be doing with their internal video communications, according to the companies.

“Our employees today expect video – they expect that as part of the content mix in terms of how employers engage employees,” Forrester senior analyst Nick Barber said Nov. 8 during the IBM-sponsored webinar “Transform the Employee Experience with AI-Driven Video Communications.”

In fact, 88% of companies surveyed by Forrester said video was “crucial” to their organization’s ability to foster a corporate culture, he told viewers. But enterprises are “falling short,” he said.

For example, he pointed out, only 44% of companies are offering live corporate training, according to the findings of a survey of 505 full-time, U.S.-based employees at companies with more than 1,000 employees who personally work or collaborate with workers at other offices. The survey was conducted by Forrester on behalf of IBM.

On a positive note, 86% of marketing decision makers indicated that improving the employee experience was a priority over the next year, according to Barber, who cited the findings of a 2017 Forrester survey of 1,138 marketing decision makers. And 92% of employers surveyed indicated that their companies would be increasing the use of video over the next five years, he said.

Millennials in particular indicated that they wanted to consume and learn using video – both short- and long-form video, he noted. But he said they also want the tools to create video content, which has become easier as barriers to creation have come down.

Employees using video within their organizations, meanwhile, expect great experiences regardless of what device they’re using to view the content, he said.

Enterprise Content Delivery Networks (ECDNs) such as IBM’s can also be used to improve employees’ video viewing experiences, according to Barber.

But “video’s challenge today is around organization and delivery,” he said. And AI can be used in various ways to enhance the employee video experience and help overcome that challenge, he said. That includes AI-driven video communication strategies and processes around how video assets are managed to power both categorization and discoverability. AI can also drive improved video insight and discovery.

AI and metadata can be used to power search, Barber said, explaining that for high-volume, low-complexity tasks, one bot can do the work of 3-4 full-time employees. Despite the concerns of at least some people, however, AI won’t necessarily take away the jobs of those people performing high-volume, low-complexity tasks today, but instead work alongside those employees and free them up to work on low-volume, high-complexity tasks, he explained.

In other words, AI can be more like the lovable robot Johnny 5 from the movie “Short Circuit” and less like the evil AI trying to destroy mankind in the “Terminator” films, he joked.

Video closed captioning also offers multiple benefits, he said, noting 15% of American adults report at least some trouble hearing and 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound. Closed captioning and transcription enable search, he also pointed out, telling viewers human transcription can take 4-8 times the length of a video and cost is a huge barrier.

Optical character recognition, meanwhile, exposes text on slideware or images and makes such content searchable, he said. That’s especially important for enterprise video including company presentations, he noted.

AI detects scene changes and can split them into chapters, he went on to say, explaining that, for example, company town hall meetings that are more than an hour can be split into multiple videos based on different topics. Also, training videos can be broken into subtopics for easier consumption, according to Barber. Highlight clips can also be created from longer content, he noted.

Facial recognition, however, is the “holy grail” of video, he went on to point out. For video that’s only used internally at an organization, that technology is less controversial than when it’s used externally, he noted.

AI can also used as a “first line of defense” within an organization, according to Barber. For one thing, he explained, it can be used to monitor employee- or user-generated content and flag it for potential violations or unwanted material. Automatic identification, meanwhile, means that humans don’t need to review everything – and that stands to get content to the market faster, he said.

In general, AI should be adopted by companies to help speed time to market, according to Barber, noting the technology helps enrich assets with metadata that humans might not even consider.