Broadcasters name AI as the industry’s number one priority: ABU-Rai Days Conference

In Europe this week, public service broadcasters from Asia and Europe are gathered at the ABU-Rai Days conference to build a global perspective on Artificial Intelligence.

The conference aims to unite decision makers, thought leaders and stakeholders from Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa to understand how AI is reshaping the media landscape.

Opening the conference, the Italian public broadcaster’s Chairwoman Marinella Soldi said, “in a world where dialog seems to be faltering, public service media needs to help citizens to form their own options in the context of knowing the complete facts.”

To achieve this “requires trust between Public Service Media (PSM) and citizens. Trust must be built and earned through transparency,” she said. “Large language models and generative AI are changing the media landscape, so trusted public service broadcasters must join forces so they can move faster and become stronger together.”

In his opening remarks, ABU Secretary General Ahmed Nadeem pointed out that just this week Apple has announced the integration of AI into its phones.

EBU Deputy Director General & Media Director Jean Philip De Tender (main picture) told delegates the relationship between AI and broadcasters “is inspiring but sometimes worrying, but it never stands still.”

“AI was introduced into broadcast companies to seek more efficiency, such as captioning and language translation… then we noticed the deeper storytelling ability of AI. Speech recognition software added inclusivity… Today AI is a multifaceted reality in the PSM space, including news.

“It is used to deliver personally relevant content delivery. But the danger is echo chambers… we must guard against filter bubbles.

AI is currently the EBU’s number one priority. “We don’t have the luxury to wait and see what happens, anyone left behind will fade into irrelevance… None of the benefits comes without risks, so regulation and governance guidelines development will be crucial,”  he said.

De Tender said the EBU is collecting a series of case studies on how AI is being used in broadcasting.

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