Today a week ago, MediaTech Hub Conference, Germany’s only B2B event on media technologies was hosted as a hybrid format, ONLINE on the digital event platform and LIVE in Babelsberg Studios. Our German colleague Anne Hufnagel participated and is happy to share with you some of the takeaways she found most interesting.
Keynote on “We Are All Digital Prosumers, Let’s Use Our Power Responsibly!”
Kenza Ait Si Abbou, Senior Manager Robotics and AI at Germany’s Deutsche Telekom in this keynote provided an insight into artificial intelligence and machine learning. We find AI everywhere: in cars, digital assistance at home, booking appointment with meeting rooms or hairdressers, in elderly care and therapy for dementia patients (e.g. with a little baby seal robot), in healthcare (in surgery rooms), in grocery shopping (Amzon grocery where there are no more chashiers, but the shop equipped with computer vision), in paintings (3D printer which re-paints a Rembrandt), in music and more.
AI learns from us and that’s where our responsibility starts. We are all prosumers, which means producers and consumers. In her presentation, Kenza used the example of Airbnb. The vacation rental online marketplace started with the idea of only renting rooms in your houses, consumers then realized that it was possible to earn real money by renting whole apartments in hotspots and that’s how the whole idea from the beginning changed to how consumers wanted to use it.
Interview on “Content Tech – Fusing creativity and technology”
In this panel, Mathias Döpfner, Axel Springer’s CEO, described his vision and his experience with technology as a non-technician. Döpfner, who holds a doctorate in musicology, has transformed the large traditional publishing house into one of the leading German digital companies in just two decades, now generating more than 90% of profit from the digital business. Döpfner gave insights into the four big chapters of digitalisation of the publishing house since beginning of the century. In 2000, Axel Springer was a purely German, analogue company, the so-called technology only existed in printing houses.
The first step then was to restructure the company, in a second step Springer acquired bigger technology companies to boost its technology knowledge. The third chapter finally already showed very good internal technology know-how, so that Axel Springer even got the bid to develop the news aggregator platform upday for Samsung phones. In Springer’s fourth chapter of digitalisation, Döpfner now focuses on continuously upgrading and expanding the company's technological know-how, jointly training journalists and techies in their FreeTech academy and developing Axel Springer even more into an international tech media company.
Discussion on “Corona as a catalyst for smart production workflows”
For the last years, the media industry was becoming digital and was looking more and more into collaborative and cloud-based workflows. When the corona pandemic hit in spring 2020, collaborative media technologies were needed more than ever and people at the media industry started to show much more engagement with technology, as Louisa Lockett, Head of Operations and Projects at Banijay UK, said. Louisa further presented interesting numbers: “Pre Covid 20% of Banijay’s production used the cloud, this has risen to 70% currently and is rising. The MAM system was operation at 40% daily use which has increased to 80%”. For Banijay, it has demonstrated that smarter, more efficient workflows didn’t mean compromising the creative vision, they rather enhanced it.
Marc Schwellenbach, Head of Production and Business IT at Germany’s UFA, experienced that the pandemic pushed a fast forward button. The technology had already been there, but now people were much more open for using it.
All of the panellists hoped that the media industry would stay open and interested in using technologies to speed up the production process, also after Covid 19.