Video AI is Media’s Philosopher Stone

By Paul Shen, TVU Networks
August 7th, 2020

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Video AI turns media content to gold
Sir Isaac Newton, the 17th Century genius known for the law of universal gravitation, the three laws of motion and the mathematics of calculus, is probably less well-known for his alchemical interests.

As an alchemist, Newton was convinced he had discovered the formula for the Philosopher’s Stone—a substance believed to be able to transmute any metal into gold.

While there’s no proof Newton ever truly discovered this mythical recipe, TCT Television in Akron, Ohio, has uncovered its own Philosopher’s Stone that is enabling the broadcaster to transform 70,000 hours of locked-away archival content into searchable, usable programming gold.

The religious broadcaster this week went live with a unique hybrid master control automation/MAM/studio automation system that is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence algorithms to create searchable metadata for every frame of stored content and about 20 hours of live weekly programming.

AI algorithms create rich metadata
With programming stored on videotape, optical disc and hard drives going back the 1970s, TCT has been involved in a nearly two-decade effort to preserve its shows. The broadcaster has employed two archivists for 17 years to transfer the content from aging, deteriorating tape to a more durable medium like Blu-ray disc.

But it wasn’t until the last year that TCT partnered with Ocon Solutions on finding a way to make all of that content searchable in seconds. By doing so, the broadcaster will give its producers a powerful tool to find relevant historical clips on topics that come up during live shows and within moments roll them in if desired.

To make that happen, TCT’s new Aveco master control automation/MAM/studio control automation system integrates our TVU MediaMind artificial intelligence engine.

Four AI algorithms are being used to create metadata for each frame of video, including speech-to-text, lower-third recognition, object recognition and facial recognition. Together, they are building the database of metadata that unlocks the true value of the broadcaster’s hidden content.

Modern Media Supply Chain
TCT’s application of AI offers a glimpse of what can be accomplished when Media & Entertainment (M&E) organizations –whether they’re religious broadcasters, network news operations, OTT content creators and distributors or movie studios—apply the latest advancements in technology to their media supply chain.

Imagine a news operation giving its producers the ability to access relevant archived clips of a politician making some pronouncement during a one-on-one interview with a show host. Or, perhaps an editor working on a documentary who needs to search for a piece of archival footage and actually find it in seconds. Or, maybe an institution awash in an ocean of video archival content that is struggling to give patrons a means to search and find what they are looking for.

The examples are countless. But the thread that ties them all together is artificial intelligence. Together, the AI algorithms that enable M&E organizations to search, find and use archived content are the modern-day equivalent of Philosopher Stone. They can transmute hidden-away, unsearchable content into media gold.

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