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Co-Presenting with the Future: Why I Chose An AI-Powered Robot As My NAB Keynote Partner

“There's only two types of companies in this world…those who are great at AI and everybody else. If you don't know AI, you are going to fail. Period.” 

-- Marc Cuban

“Hello, Daniel,” she said to me, her eyes peering into mine, “I’m looking forward to doing our keynote together for NAB.” I’ve had many speaking partners over the years; presenting at conferences in the tech and media sectors all over the world. Yet, even as the CEO of Futuri, a company defined by embracing disruptive technology, this was a first for me. Because the woman sitting across from me wasn't human at all. She was Ameca, the most sophisticated AI-powered humanoid robot in existence, and she was going to be my co-presenter. 

By the time 2030 hits, the media landscape will have undergone a seismic shift, neatly dividing companies into two distinct camps: those that have fully embraced AI, integrating it into the core of their operations, and those that have vanished from the scene. That’s why Mark Cuban discusses those “two types of companies” as binaries with such a major distinction. Just like you can’t have a company without an online presence, you won’t be able to have an online presence, or any digital architecture to your business without harnessing the power of AI. 

Why? Well non-tech adopters will become overwhelmed by inefficiencies and unable to keep pace in a fiercely competitive market. Without a robust AI strategy and the means to implement it effectively, they’ll be left in the digital dust. The downfall of these companies won't be marked by dramatic failures or sudden collapses. Instead, it'll be a slow fade, marked by a false sense of security. Some of these companies might even believe they're at the cutting edge, experimenting with tools like ChatGPT or Bard, and in the agency realm, Midjourney or DALL-E. They'll think they're ticking all the right boxes when it comes to AI adoption. But in reality, they're barely scratching the surface.

Media executives, especially those in TV and radio (or, more accurately, video and audio

are feeling the heat. They're navigating a challenging landscape where traditional metrics of success, like ratings, are losing their power versus the pull of data-rich digital platforms. Despite a surge in content consumption, budgets are tight, and there's a lag in adopting new technologies and models that could meet this demand in a more cost-effective way. Add to this the erosion of traditional revenue streams, and you've got a perfect storm of pressure where one can collapse. Or, and here’s the invitation for opportunity, you can use this fragile moment as a time to innovate and boost profits. 

Then there's the rise of tech-savvy media giants like Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu, which are not only capturing larger audiences but are also operating with greater efficiency. They're pouring real money into original content, pushing the boundaries of audience and content growth. This puts traditional broadcasters in a tough spot, especially since they're actually producing more content than their streaming counterparts—they're just not leveraging it as effectively.

In our research findings at Futuri, we recognize that many companies are dabbling in AI with small, non-committal experiments that lack clear objectives or a commitment to fully leveraging the technology to their advantage. Sure, using ChatGPT for content creation is a step in the right direction, but it comes with limitations. Just look at the AI-fueled fiasco that was the Willy Wonka knockoff in Scotland, or the lawyer who submitted a brief to a lawyer using ChatGPT…but it was full of legal examples that never existed .

As opposed to random forays into generative AI, a focused, strategic approach to adopting AI tailored to your specific needs is the key to unlock significant opportunities. Looking ahead, we're likely to see a bifurcation in the AI landscape. On one side, there will be major players like Google's Bard and Microsoft's ChatGPT, along with a few others dominating the generative AI space. On the other, a myriad of specialists will emerge, offering tools that cater to niche requirements.

For broadcasters and content creators, the need for specialized AI tools is paramount. That's where companies like Futuri come in, aiming to be the go-to specialists for the broadcast industry. Take Futuri AudioAI (formerly RadioGPT), for example, the first AI-powered solution for localized radio content. Unlike generic text-to-speech systems, Futuri AudioAI is designed from the ground up with broadcasting in mind, offering features like broadcast-ready systems, content gathering through Topic Pulse, and fake news moderation, among others.

Our focus is on delivering AI solutions that aren't just technologically advanced but are also finely tuned to the specific needs of the broadcasting industry. This approach ensures a blend of content vetting, personalization, and linguistic sophistication that sets these solutions apart from basic robotic voices.

So that brings us to my partner for the NAB 2024 keynote.

This year, I'm taking a bold step at the NAB keynote when I partner with Ameca, the world's most advanced humanoid AI. This collaboration isn't just about showcasing AI's potential; it's a demonstration of the future of human-AI collaboration in broadcasting. Our research, conducted in partnership with CMG and surveying over 5,200 U.S. consumers, reveals a significant appetite among audiences for AI-enhanced media. They're looking for transparency, creativity, and a human touch when it comes to AI —a balance that Ameca represents so well. 

As we venture into this new era, it's not just about adapting to AI; it's about actively shaping its role in our industry. If you’ll be at NAB, join me as we explore this further, demonstrating the practical and exciting ways AI can redefine broadcasting for the better. Because whether we like it or not, we’ll all be partnering with AI to survive in the future. It’s no longer a choice. 


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