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ABU-Rai Days conference highlights importance of AI to public service media

Public Service Media (PSM) experts and leaders from across Asia-Pacific and Europe gathered in Naples, Italy, this week for ABU-RAI Days 2024, where they highlighted the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) in their work and how the technology is reshaping the landscape of the broadcasting industry.

Marinella Soldi, the Chair of Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI), said: “In a world where dialogue seems to be faltering, public service media needs to help citizens to form their own options in the context of knowing the complete facts.”

“To achieve this requires trust between public service media and citizens. Trust must be built and earned through transparency,” she said further. “Large language models and generative AI are changing the media landscape, so trusted public service broadcasters must join forces so they can move faster and become stronger together.”

In his opening remarks, the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Secretary General Ahmed Nadeem reiterated the importance of AI in the broadcasting industry and called for all broadcasters to adapt to this technology.

Deputy Director General & Media Director, Jean Philip De Tender, told delegates that the relationship between AI and broadcasters “is inspiring but sometimes worrying, but it never stands still.”

“AI was introduced into broadcast companies to seek more efficiency, such as captioning and language translation, and then we noticed the deeper storytelling ability of AI,” he said. “Speech recognition software added inclusivity. Today AI is a multifaceted reality in the PSM space, including news.”

“It is used to deliver personally relevant content delivery. But the danger is echo chambers, therefore we must guard against filter bubbles,” he added.

De Tender  emphasised that AI is currently the EBU’s number one priority, saying: “We don’t have the luxury to wait and see what happens, anyone left behind will fade into irrelevance. None of the benefits comes without risks, so regulation and governance guidelines development will be crucial.” He also said that EBU is collecting a series of case studies on how AI is being used in broadcasting.

The exclusive ABU-RAI Days conference aims to unite decision makers, thought leaders and stakeholders of public service media (PSM) from Europe and Asia-Pacific. This is the 6th time that the conference has been held.

(Credit: radioinfo)