MarkLogic Exec: Entertainment Companies Can Do a Lot More with AI and ‘We Need to Get Started’

These are still early days for artificial intelligence (AI) and there’s a lot more that entertainment companies can do to leverage the technology to take full advantage of it for their businesses, according to Matt Turner, chief strategy officer for media and manufacturing at MarkLogic.

“We can do more with AI,” he said Jan. 23 during the webinar “AI and the Future of Entertainment.” He added: “We can revolutionize what we do, but we need to get started.”

And this has become more important than ever before now because understanding data and — more importantly, making effective use of data — remains an especially difficult task within the entertainment industry. After all, there’s been an explosion in sources of data and tools to gather it. But to actually use that data to drive the business, organizations need to apply new patterns to integrate the data and use new techniques to understand it.

AI right now is “really is all over the place and it’s not just the headline-grabbing stuff, but there’s a lot of headline-grabbing stuff,” including self-driving cars and the new BMW self-driving motorcycle, Turner pointed out at the start of the webinar, which was hosted by MarkLogic and the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA).

Those self-driving vehicles are “coming on top of a lot of the foundations” that are already “in our workplaces,” including natural language processing and computer vision, he said.

AI and machine learning are being used by media & entertainment (M&E) companies to help them create and organize data, as well as “put automation in place,” he said.

But most use cases today deliver results of automation and efficiency by taking just a narrow slice of understanding and modelling, according to Turner.

“Machine learning is where we are” today, he noted. But “when we really want to get to” a point where the technology is having a “broader impact, we need to get to machine intelligence,” he said, predicting that will “make a big difference,” especially for the entertainment industry.

We’re “standing on the cusp of a major revolution in media,” according to Yves Bergquist, CEO and founder of AI company Corto and director of the project on AI & Neuroscience in Media at the University of Southern California’s Entertainment Technology Center.

“We think that the media industry has just gotten started” with the use of AI and “there’s a lot more products, a lot more stories to be told that nobody’s really thinking about right now that are going to really revolutionize not just the industry, but society” as well, Bergquist said during the webinar.

Recommendations made to viewers of film and TV programs are just one thing that TV service providers can significantly enhance through the use of AI, he noted. “The way recommendations are being done today is not very sophisticated,” he said, adding: “We’re heading into a world where you’re going to be able to provide recommendations based on much more than” simple suggestions based on an actress the viewer seems to like.

For example, AI can be used to make recommendations based on factors like the visual look of content that a viewer might find appealing, he noted, calling that kind of linking of content attributes the “holy grail” for his company. He added: “We’re really building a microscope to help the media industry understand, at a very granular level, why certain stuff works, and other stuff doesn’t work.”

Guy Finley, president of MESA and CEO of the Trusted Partner Network, moderated the discussion.