Predicting the critical role of AI in media and entertainment

Artificial intelligence is the tech trend of our time. Many in the creative industries are grappling with the reality that AI will inevitably play an ever-increasing role in the creation of media and entertainment content. On the other hand, some AI-powered tools support content consumption, including personalized recommendations on streaming platforms and voice assistants for searching music and videos. What are the prospects for creators and consumers adopting these AI-powered tools?

AI technologies have the potential to improve content creation and media consumption experiences. However, because adopting AI requires trust in the machine, the jury is still out on the extent to which developers and consumers will adopt these technologies. Nevertheless, it is necessary for companies to predict the central role of AI in media and entertainment to develop a strategic vision. So let me give it a try.

AI is not new, the GPU is new

First, we must recognize that AI is not new and has already found its way into many areas of the media and entertainment value chain, particularly those related to text and audio that are not as computationally intensive, such as text search and analysis as well as text creation and voice and music recognition. For example, 2021 was the point of no return for voice assistance when it was reported that more than half of a consumer sample used voice assistants to help search and watch movies on streaming services. As for music recognition, Shazam turned 20 in 2022, and since then the iPhone has been capturing and identifying at least 1 billion songs per month.

What’s new about AI lately is that computationally intensive applications that require the machine to learn from huge data sets are becoming more and more feasible thanks to technological advances. The generation and assisted creation of scripts, images, graphics (GPUs or graphics processing units were originally designed to process graphics and now support many AI applications) and 2D/3D videos take advantage of the latest superwave of advances in AI technology.

Predicting high acceptance: AI as an assistant

Based on the AI ​​applications that have taken off, I made a bold prediction: If AI applications truly take on the role of an assistant, developers and consumers will continue to embrace the technology until it is adopted at scale.

Existing research on the adoption of AI technology can support this prediction. Dr. Through his research during the Executive Doctorate of Business Administration program at Pepperdine’s Graziadio Business School, George Dagliyan found that there are both facilitators and barriers to AI adoption:

Supporters of AI introduction:

  1. Convenience,
  2. Adjustment
  3. Efficiency

Barriers to the introduction of AI:

  1. uncertainty
  2. Privacy risk
  3. Risk of loss of control.

For consumers, AI applications that disproportionately facilitate convenience, customization, and efficiency will be prevalent and taken for granted, such as recommendation systems. Social media and streaming platforms use AI algorithms to analyze clicks and viewing habits and preferences to suggest relevant content, make search convenient and personalized, and save consumers a lot of effort and time searching through countless options. There is a loss of privacy because the algorithms analyze consumer demographics and past choices, but as the massive adoption so far shows, the moderators are more than compensating for this loss.

Additionally, companies can proactively reduce barriers such as transparency around how user data is collected, stored and used to reduce the perception of uncertainty and loss of control. Dagliyan explains: “From a consumer perspective, the study showed that facilitators and inhibitors of AI adoption are equally important. Therefore, companies can significantly increase adoption rates by prioritizing both facilitators and inhibitors of AI adoption.”

AI-powered tools can also make the creative process more convenient and efficient. For example, in 2017 I reported on innovations in AI that are making music production more efficient and convenient, leading to what may be the first album co-composed and produced with AI. However, for AI content creation assistants to be adopted, uncertainties and the risk of loss of control over copyright must be addressed. The recent agreement between the Writer’s Guild of America and studios that AI cannot assign copyright to AI-powered screenplays could be an important precedent if extended to the media and entertainment industry to allay any fears that Content creators could lose copyright by using AI assistants.

Where the decision is still open: content generation

Dagliyan’s AI adoption framework explains why there are currently intense negotiations between artists and studios. The possibility that AI could replace creative capacity with the generation of high-quality content increases uncertainty and the risk of loss of control for artists and creatives. For example, AI image generators are widely used and a Japanese ad was recently created 100% by AI. This is not just about the extent to which AI will replace creative talent, but according to a Advertising magazine According to an editorial by Pepperdine Graziadio Business School marketing professor Cristel Russell and her co-authors, there are social and political implications related to the truthfulness and authenticity of AI-generated content.

So how will we deal with these barriers to adoption, both as creators and consumers? For creative professionals, measures to reduce uncertainty and loss of control related to their job are of utmost importance. For actors, for example, it will be paramount to negotiate rights to use their AI-powered digital twins. SAG-AFTRA negotiations with studios are expected to address this issue.

For consumers, Dagliyan’s study also showed that trust in a brand can promote facilitators and mitigate barriers. This means that consumers are more likely to adopt AI-powered products and services if they trust the brand. Russell, who oversaw Dagliyan’s research, explains: “George’s study suggests that companies should prioritize brand reputation and invest in building trust with their target audiences if they want their AI innovations to be successful in the market.”

Creators and top brands in media and entertainment have the potential to leverage AI to maximize convenience, content customization and efficiency to benefit the entertainment industry and consumers. But only if uncertainty, privacy concerns and the fear of AI takeover are effectively addressed will this potential be realized.

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