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NVIDIA Media Chief: 'We’re ready to work with you to unlock AI’s benefits.'

02 juillet 2024
Screenshot taken from video of NVIDIA's Richard Kerris presenting to the EBU GA
NVIDIA's Richard Kerris addresses the EBU General Assembly in Cyprus

The media and entertainment chief of the world’s most valuable company, NVIDIA, has told the EBU Summer General Assembly his company is ready to work with EBU Members to help them unlock the benefits of AI for audiences.

Addressing the Cyprus gathering virtually, NVIDIA VP of Developer Relations and Head of Media and Entertainment Richard Kerris said AI was having its ‘iPhone moment'—democratizing technology and transforming all aspects of all businesses. 

EBU Members can watch the presentation here. 

In late June, NVIDIA’s relentless rise saw analysts breathlessly forecasting the king of ‘megacaps’ (firms with a $200bn+ marketing capitalization) was en route to be the world’s first $4tn company. 

Under the leadership of Jensen Huang, NVIDIA has a firm grip on the market for the advanced chips and processors powering the breakthrough AI systems that giants like Amazon, Google, and Meta are building.

Having led at some huge tech brands, including Apple and Lucasfilm, and as a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), Kerris has a 360° view of AI’s accelerating influence on media creation, distribution, and consumption. 

Suspicion of AI is normal and necessary 

While conceding that it will inevitably disrupt businesses, he’s a full-throated evangelist for AI’s power to improve things and open ‘more opportunities than we realize today’ for those who embrace it. 

‘I know there’s a lot of controversy around AI,’ he said. ‘We hear quotes like “this new technology is nothing studios will want to use, or this new technology will stifle creativity, or this new technology is bad for artists and people will lose their jobs”. These are actually from 1979, 1980, and 1981, and they’re referring to the computer sampling technology that came out in the music industry. There’s always sceptics and concern with breakthrough technologies and there was with music sampling, but what started with disruption in the late 70s and early 80s, is today a viable revenue stream for artists.’ 

Kerris was candid about the inherent risks of AI, listing data privacy, copyright, biases and errors, ethics, and malicious actors, but said risk was part of any new disruptive technology. 

Regarding content rights, he returned to the music sampling paradigm for reassurance. 

‘Today, if I was to use a song I didn’t have rights to, make a video and upload it to YouTube, it wouldn’t allow me to do so. Why? Because YouTube has guardrails and an AI engine that will say “you don’t have the rights to that song, I’m not going to allow you to publish it”. We’re going to see more and more AI capabilities in this framework to help guide us along and say that content is secure, ethical, you can use it, or you can’t.’ 

A four-point AI plan for broadcasters

As for how media companies can take their first steps on their AI journey, Kerris advised starting small with a four-point approach:

  1. Have clear objectives, be it to transform the internal workings of the business or external deployment of content.
  2. Take care over data quality and governance. The source of the data is key – merely scraping the web is not respecting artists’ rights. 
  3. Look at scalable infrastructure, because it takes a lot of power to drive AI. 
  4. Think about skills and personnel—recruit data scientists and researchers who understand how to harness the technology. 

‘Break it down into the types of things you can try and learn along the way,’ he said. ‘What areas of your business could you improve using AI today? Maybe it’s doing some internal work with language translation, or perhaps you take the training of your content for contracts and allow the employees working with artists to have an AI-generated way to create your contracts.’ 

Kerris said familiarizing parts of the business with entry-level AI tools and processes will trigger an increasingly sophisticated snowball effect across the organization. He recommended NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Institute (DLI), which offers both free and paid online training through its developer programme (developer.nvidia.com), from starter tutorials to customized courses for companies.

How can PSM partner with Big Tech on AI?

During the Q&A, one delegate cited PSM’s duty to explain technology like AI to everyone, and asked if NVIDIA was prepared to collaborate with broadcasters on that. 

Kerris replied: ‘It’s all of our responsibility to take this tech and use it wisely, and we’d love to partner with the companies or with the end users out there on how this kind of technology can change their business and improve the satisfaction of their customers, or healthcare, or whatever industry they’re in.’

Moderator Uli Köppen, Head of AI and Automation Lab at Bayerischer Rundfunk, asked if NVIDIA was prepared to offer free services for public service media. 

Unprepared to commit on the spot, Kerris said he’d welcome a follow-up meeting to explore possibilities.

He said: ‘We give back to the industry in many ways. You see dozens of research papers that are submitted each year to various conferences, we work closely to help promote start-ups and nonprofits, so we do have a very robust environment for doing just that. I’d be happy to say let’s take an action item and maybe workshop something after this about what we can all do together.’ 

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AI Communications

Ben Steward

Chargé de communication IA

stewardb@ebu.ch