Transforming media in the age of AI and data

The media business needs to transform, and new developments in AI are making a huge difference in cost-effective and innovative deliveries.   | Photo Credit: Freepik

As corporates, organisations and the government compete for attention, we are moving from the Information Age to the Attention Age. The nature of mass media has changed too. Newspapers have evolved by introducing digital platform paywalls since traditional news gathering and production processes are increasingly capital intensive and consumers are no longer insulated by advertising. The traditional advertising and public relations agencies have also evolved to suit digital platforms. Digital storytelling and advocacy are the need of the hour. The film industry too has been revolutionised through the introduction of digital cameras and projectors.

The media business, therefore, needs to transform, and new developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) are making a huge difference in cost-effective and innovative deliveries. The media industry has been greatly influenced by AI, whether it is in the dissemination of information through news, movies, music, social media, and so on. The tagging of metadata has made journalism data-driven and effective, while data analytics has enabled OTT platforms to ‘narrowcast’.

Copywriting — a vital tool to capture the imagination of customers and build a narrative for customers to buy a product or a service — has changed too. When Alibaba introduced an AI copywriter, a chill must have gone down the spine of many copywriters. The first prototype of Alibaba’s AI copywriter programme could produce 20,000 words every second. Alibaba hosts millions of products on its site that need descriptions that can be mundane and repetitive. In such a situation, using an AI copywriter programme makes sense and could support the copywriter who can focus on ideation and creative strategies.

What does this mean for media students?

Media students need to build multidisciplinary skills. To be initiated into this industry when digitisation is taking the world by storm would mean acquiring a comprehensive and holistic understanding of how technology helps enhance the process of creation. AI in this day and age cannot be separated from the various facets of media; therefore, acquiring the technical know-how has become crucial. The possibilities are endless with a wide range of opportunities. Here’s a look at a few such choices:

Filmmaking: There is a large share of analytics and AI systems in the film industry. Using AI-based software has made it easy for scriptwriters to target the right niche. Neuroscience and eye-tracking studies can capture the emotional highlights of a story while new software helps create effective trailers and edit feature films.

Journalism: Multimedia journalism combines the use of text with images, videos, sounds, and graphics. AI also helps in curbing and controlling biases, which are undeniably infused within all facets of media and presented to the audience under layers of misleading information.

Public relations: There are primarily three benefits that AI brings into the field of PR: automation, acceleration, and accuracy. Having access to these technologies is permitting a focus on other tenets of PR such as creative thinking and strategic planning.

Advertising: Advertising agencies have gone completely digital and use AI tools to target and segment audiences, create optimal messages, and monitor ad spend, customer behaviour, and sales. This has changed the way advertisers deliver and render ads more relevant.

Nowadays, practically all sectors are seeing an overwhelming tsunami of tech interventions. The race is not with the biggest; it is with the fastest.

The writer is Director, Symbiosis Centre for Media & Communication, Pune

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 5:27:48 PM |

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