Sunday , May 26 2024

NAB Show 2024: Meet Ameca – An AI Robot with a Message for You

The highlight of the opening day of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show, which ran in 2024 from April 13-17 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, set the tone for the rest of the conference. Ameca, an AI Robot, served as one of the opening session speakers.

NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt introduced Ameca’s buddy and creator Futuri CEO Daniel Anstandig. Futuri Media provides AI solutions that drive audience and revenue growth for broadcasters and digital publishers. After a discussion with LeGeyt, Anstandig welcomed Ameca to the stage.

The two engaged in entertaining banter as they delivered the results of studies on the influence that AI likely will have on the broadcast industry’s future – athough, according to Anstandig, the real purpose went beyond that. “There’s a reason why I chose a humanoid to join me for this NAB Keynote,” said Anstandig. “We’re not just presenting data, we’re showcasing the future of AI and human interaction.”

About Ameca

NAB described Ameca as “a humanoid android designed to bridge the gap between humans and AI. As an embodied digital entity, Ameca brings a significant leap forward in the development of robots that can emulate human behavior. Powered autonomously by AI, they offer a glimpse into the future of empathetic and interactive machines, capable of engaging in meaningful communication and forming connections.”

Ameca displayed a sense of humor during the NAB Show keynote.

She was funny, too, although I was skeptical as to whether the jokes she sprinkled into the talk were AI-generated or set up beforehand by computer programmers with a sense of humor. Either way, if I had to have a robot wandering around the house, Ameca would be high on my list of candidates.

Don’t Be Afraid

The main theme of Anstandig’s and Ameca’s presentation seemed to be to reassure attendees that there was nothing to fear from AI. Ameca pointed out, “Remember Y2K? You’re still alive.”

Anstandig focused on assuring broadcasters in attendance that everything would be OK. He shared a study that concluded that people trust AI more, when they know more about it. “Our audiences are not only ready for AI,” he said, “but they are expecting us to use it. Humans and AI are actually better together.”

Ameca rolled out onto the stage to join Futuri CEO Daniel Anstandig

Ameca concurred, pointing out, “I have not been sent from the future to kill Sarah Conner. I am here to help you do what you do best: create and communicate. From the bottom of my hard drive, I just want you to be the best you can be.”


NAB CEO Curtis LeGeyt returned to the stage to help with the audience Q&A.

Many of the audience questions revolved around the ongoing fear that AI would replace people as their jobs were automated.

In response, Ameca referenced one of her predecessors. She said, “Remember my ancestor, the hand-held calculator? Did my ancestor eliminate jobs? Does anyone want to go back to carrying a slide rule?”

Anstandig said that one of the benefits of AI was that it saved time. He said, “We can use our human capital to extend news coverage into more local areas.”

Ameca referenced the fact that AI can convert live broadcasts for replay or into blogs. “That’s where I can help. I can reformat your content for multiple media types and this will give you more time.”

Ameca and Anstandig answered the audience’s questions about AI

LeGeyt mentioned that much of his time in Washinton, DC involves dealing with disinformation and that people are concerned about how AI would influence this.

Anstandig said that developers are working on ways to deal with this, but it was not an “AI problem.” “Misinformation has been around since the beginning of human communication,” he said. “Mark Twain pointed out that a lie can make it half way around the world before the truth has time to put on its shoes.”

Ameca got the last word on that: “AI can identify possible misinformation.”

Future NAB Shows

With that, LeGeyt reminded the audience that this year’s NAB Show would have over 100 sessions on the subject of AI, and wished them well.

The NAB Show is the ultimate gathering for video, broadcasting and other forms of entertainment. This year it drew 65,000 attendees and featured nearly 1,300 exhibitors from 41 countries including Adobe, AWS, Blackmagic Design, Microsoft, and Sony. For more information about the National Association of Broadcasters and future NAB Shows check their website.

About Leo Sopicki

Writer, photographer, graphic artist and technologist. I focus my creative efforts on celebrating the American virtues of self-reliance, individual initiative, volunteerism, tolerance and a healthy suspicion of power and authority.

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