Friday , May 24 2024

NAB Show 2024: The Year of AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) has ignited the imagination and fears of the American public. The 2024 gathering of members of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) obsessed about it, too. The NAB show included over 100 sessions which focused on or at least considered AI as worth talking about.

The show ran April 13-17 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The industry considers it the ultimate gathering for video, broadcasting, and other forms of entertainment. This year it drew 65,000 attendees and featured nearly 1,300 exhibitors, 200 for the first time, from 41 countries including Adobe, AWS, Blackmagic Design, Microsoft, and Sony

The discussions about AI fell into several categories: how broadcasters can use it, a feature for media consumers, and its impact on jobs in broadcasting and movies. Besides that, sessions covered AI’s impact on health intelligence, autonomous intelligence as in self-driving vehicles and robots, and on the internet of things (IoT). Who doesn’t want to talk to their refrigerator?

Samsung refrigerator
Samsung’s fridge lets you connect, use your phone to choose types of ice, and alerts you if the door is left open

Creating Media

Getting a signal from a radio or TV studio or the computer of an internet creative/influencer to its intended audience brings electronic complexity to new levels. Many of the exhibitors at the NAB show displayed products and technologies that employ AI to make entertainment providers’ jobs easier. Just as important to the industry is tracking who and how many people watch or listen. That’s critical to making money. 

Sinclair Inc, for example, announced its Broadspan product. It empowers broadcasters to input a signal one time and have it automatically reconfigured and distributed for multiple over-the-air and over-the-top formats.

For those of us who don’t own television stations, Adobe provides an analogous feature in Adobe Firefly, a generative AI product currently in public beta. You create a piece of artwork which meets the display standards of, for example, Facebook. Then at the click of a mouse, Firefly uses AI to transform it into versions meeting the requirements of multiple platforms such as X, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and more. What might have taken hours in the past, completes in minutes.

Adobe Firefly uses AI to convert text to images as in the example shown

Your TV is Calling

Not talking to your TV? According to Lori H. Schwartz, founder of StoryTech, by the end of 2024 over 90% of U.S. televisions will ship with a voice-activated digital assistant. She and her team also predict other AI enhancements such as wearables which will monitor your health in real time, and digital cockpits for your car with multiple displays that continuously improve with over-the-air updates. 

Two rings mentioned by the StoryTech group provide thinking-outside-the-box services.

The Movano Evie smart ring for women uses FDA-cleared sensors to track pulse, mood, and menstrual cycles. The ring’s purpose is to improve mood and sleep, while providing medical reports for doctors.

The Movano Evie Ring monitors health status

The IQibla Zikr Ring aims to help Muslims with the requirements of their faith. The ring reminds the wearer when it’s time to pray. In case the wearer is traveling, the ring also provides a compass, so that the wearer can meet the requirement to face toward Mecca while praying.

Am I Out of a Job?

Many people express concern that AI will displace workers. This was the concern of several of the participants in multiple sessions at NAB. According to a report by StoryTech, however, most employers want to use AI to make current employees more productive, rather than to replace them.

Will some jobs cease to exist because of technological change like AI? History suggests that this will happen. Seen many gas station attendants, milkmen, or blacksmiths lately?  But the disappearance of those jobs did not lead to mass unemployment. Artificial intelligence will likely lead to the creation of professions which we haven’t yet imagined.

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.

Check Also

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

AI will play a big part in the future of broadcasting, according to the robot named Ameca who spoke at the NAB show.