AI and the online video business: all about improving the corporate experience?

via Flickr by alansimpsonMe Public Domain

via Flickr by alansimpsonMe Public Domain

  • AI is being deployed right through the online video business, say researchers
  • Some of this might be deemed customer friendly - helping create and edit video content for instance.
  • But some of it less so

In yesterday’s TelecomTV report on UK streaming services (see - UK TV viewers mostly stream trad programming - and they’re doing more of it), Ernst & Young analyst, Praveen Shankar, found that “Technology, Media and Telecoms companies needed to move away from programme guides and big budget marketing and build artificial intelligence (AI) enabled recommendation engines to push content. This will improve user experience, reduce costs and maximise assets,” he claimed.

ABI Research has been following the same trail and also nails video workflow and personalised video programming as a major Artificial Intelligence (AI) use case in the telecoms/entertainment sector.  It recently highlighted some of the ‘hot’ tech innovators in the space.

“From content creation through distribution, companies are rapidly moving to AI and Machine Learning (ML) to create efficiencies and maximize value throughout video workflows,” it’s claimed.

Not only will that help existing operators and content producers adjust to big changes, it should also let new players into the video market.

“While the big four—Amazon/AWS, Google, IBM Watson, and Microsoft—deservedly garner a significant amount of attention, the diversity of companies leveraging AI within the video space is remarkable, especially considering how quickly the technology has shifted from a hot topic to actual solutions and deployment,” says Michael Inouye, Principal Analyst at ABI Research.

Naming names

On the core video side, companies like Nagra, TiVo, and ThinkAnalytics are employing AI to gain valuable insights into subscribers, reduce churn, and maximize revenue potential, while others like Irdeto and Synamedia are working to protect investments and revenue potential by targeting piracy or credential sharing.”

This facet of the market expands well beyond the normal video players and in some ways, there is a new wave of video democratization for enterprise and businesses. Companies like Wibbitz, GliaCloud, and Magisto are already working with leading publishers, brands, and businesses, leveraging AI/ML to create and edit video content to enhance existing content, and for applications like training and marketing.”

But do we, as consumers, smile fondly on all of this ‘innovation’? That some might discern a dystopian threat here has ocurred to the researchers.

“AI and the automation it can enable might lead some to conclude we are seeing the removal of the human element,” says ABI’s Michael Inouye, “but it isn’t a replacement. Rather, AI is helping companies make more informed decisions and engender efficiencies to handle a growing workload while maintaining a high level of performance.”

He cites Valossa, a specialist in video compliance, using AI to help broadcasters and their human teams to monitor the increasing volumes of video and audio they distribute to ensure it meets set levels of standards and appropriateness.”  Sounds somewhat like ‘Artificially Intelligent Big Brother” to me.

What is notable here is the degree to which the above AI innovations are not about improving the customer experience, as their advocates always maintain, but about improving the corporate experience in terms of reducing churn, maximising revenue potential, protecting investments and the big one, ‘using data to gain valuable ‘insights into customer behaviour’.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Artificial Intelligence in Video Hot Tech Innovators report.

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