Transcript: Industry Leaders Discuss the Impact of AI on Media

Posted on by Larry

AI is having a dramatic impact on media. Larry Jordan interviews key industry leaders at the 2024 NAB Show to learn their opinions on the impact of AI and machine learning. Their answers ranged from fear to hope.

Here’s a transcript of the video, which I cleaned up slightly to improve readability.

NOTE: Here’s the video itself.

We’re certainly paying attention to it. Personally, I’m terrified by it.

Dave Letson
VP of Sales
CalRec Audio Ltd.

I think AI is going to have a huge effect on the media industry. I think things are going to get a little bit murky for a little while. I think it’s sort of a difficult situation because we’re moving forward at a breakneck pace, but there’s also a lot of consolidation that may come of it and potentially some struggle.

Noah Chamon
Solutions Architect

AI is a complicated question right now and it covers a lot of technology. Are you talking about machine learning or are you talking about actually the AI itself? I think there’s lots of ways that it can improve workflows and make things faster and better. And I think there’s also a lot of stuff out there that, you know, if you start trying to use it, actually takes longer to use because it gets you about 80% of the way there. Then fixing the other 20% takes longer than if you just did it from scratch.

Jim Tierney
Chief Executive Anarchist
Digital Anarchy

Well, I am concerned on the impact that AI and machine learning will have on creative jobs. And that’s an ethical problem, actually, not a technical problem, I think.

PM Lombert

So the concerns are absolutely real and we have the same concerns, but we have a framework for how to address that.

We actually came up with something called the “Responsible AI Position.” The “Responsible AI Position” puts the burden on us as well to make sure the way we are exposing AI is helping the creators rather than taking anything away from them. Creatives are fundamentally the ones with the wisdom of creativity. AI can have some level of knowledge but will not gain the wisdom.

So a lot of the tactics that we’re using to expose some of the functionality is in the form of a digital assistant. So we actually literally branded it “Avid Reader” as a digital assistant. So [it’s advice is] in the form of recommendations, but the human makes the decision, it’s the creative who makes the final decision what they want to use.

So it’s speeding up the workflow, helping them being more creative rather than be concerned about take away any jobs.

Shailendra Mathur
VP, Chief Architect
Avid Technologies

We really see it as a tool to help our clients work more quickly and more accurately. I mean, AI doesn’t necessarily have to be a computer drawing an image that a human didn’t draw. AI can help you find your data faster.

[There’s] just a bazillion different ways that we can utilize it and, honestly, we’re just scratching the surface here. AI is not something that we’re afraid of at all. I think it’s something that we’re going to embrace and I’m really excited to see what we’re going to do in the future with it.

Abe Abt
Senior Product Consultant
AJA Video Systems

We actually are embracing AI; as I said, I like to call it “automation.” I don’t think it’s artificial until we know what we want. The customers know what they want. We can speed up those tedious, simple workflows. I mean, editing is a massive task. So if we can cut that first edit for you inside our products using an AI engine or a neural network that learns how you like to edit and looks at your footage from previous [edits].

We protect that for you inside our products. So it’s not like what you do gets used by everyone else. I think that’s what a lot of people are worried about. It’s like Napster, you know, the music seemed free, but eventually we got to the right place where the artists were actually getting paid for what they do.

So keeping it inside, the automation inside the customer’s world is what we’re all about. Really, it’s, as I said, all the tedious, long laborious tasks that you need to get a production finished can be automated, and you need to deal with the customer, reduce the number of people on set, and automate most of the process.

Jeromy Young
CEO & Co-Founder

I think that there’s always the risk of losing jobs to AI because of what it can do. And the hard part here is always… Look, nobody wants to be the elevator operator that’s no longer needed. But the reality of the situation is that these tools are always going to evolve, and there’s going to be risk involved in that as well.

But at the same point, if we don’t adopt these new tools, we risk also replacing ourselves because we don’t adapt to the new technologies that are there. And this is why this is such a almost controversial subject. We don’t want to shy away from using AI, because if we do, we risk ourselves being replaced. But if we also just push everything to AI that does risks jobs being changed.

The hope is that we’re changing jobs, not replacing jobs, that we’re empowering creators, not replacing creators. And that’s a tricky line to try to strike there. And that’s why this strikes so close to so many people’s hearts and why, as a manufacturer, we have to be very conscientious about how we apply that within our tools.

Dan May
Blackmagic Design – US

Well, everybody is paying attention to AI, and AI is something that we’re absolutely embracing, and we do encourage everybody to embrace.

Is it scary? It’s a little bit scary. I mean, it’s another one of the disruptive shifts that’s going to change the way a lot of us create. Period. But it should create amazing opportunities if it’s embraced right. And that’s the thing, we all have to evolve. Everything changes. I mean, take the [shift] from spinning drives to SSDs. I mean, you name it… streaming that was, you know, ten years ago that was going to ruin everything. And now it’s created more opportunity than there’s ever been before.

AI isn’t going to replace I don’t believe in something to replace. It should augment. It should mean that you can spend more time on the high level creative aspects. Even if it’s doing the work, it’s still it’s nothing without you and that that individuality. So we’re excited to see how it’s going to let people do more, do it faster and elevate.

It’s not about replacing and, well, [doing] less. It’s less time on things that well, frankly, you could be spending your time better someplace else.

Larry O’Connor

I think the future of AI is not going to be in generative. I think that’s a little overrated. Instead, I think the future of AI, for both manufacturers and for users is AI that actually does boring, mundane tasks that are repeatable that no one wants to do that are sort of a gap between the creative stuff you’d rather get to sooner and having to, like, get everything ready before you can start editing.

Michael Cioni
Co-founder & CEO

AI throughout Adobe is really viewed as a creative assistant. It doesn’t replace creativity. So we like to say that you are always in control of the result. We like to automate tedious things and get you to that, you know, final result faster. But, you know, with the advent of generative AI, that stuff is really changing the game and Adobe is really leaning into that.

But we’re doing it ethically. So we’re making sure not to infringe on anyone’s intellectual property. None of our training data is, you know, recognizable brands or individual creative’s work that [they] haven’t expressly give us permission to train on.

We’re also promoting content authenticity, which means that we’re going to put a stamp on generated stuff to let people know that this has been generated with AI. Again, just promoting that transparency and ethical use of AI.

I’m really proud to work at Adobe, a company that holds ethical use of AI so highly. You know, again, I was an editor for ten years, and the last thing I want to be responsible for doing is bringing into the world a feature that is going to put creative professionals out of work. That’s not what Adobe is trying to do.

Francis Crossman
Principle Product Manager – Premiere Pro
Adobe Systems

So I actually would look at it completely opposite. I don’t think that artificial intelligence can replace artists. Art is a social phenomena that comes inside of a human. When you’re using generative AI, you’re asking it to copy something. It’s not that new. So for us, the artist is always going to be driving the future of creativity. And the AI might work for filler or background, but it’s not going to be that creative new impact.

David McGavran

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