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IBC Best Conference Paper Award Recognises Advances in Artificial Intelligence

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BBC R&D paper discusses rules-based AI and machine learning for
automated production

In a year when artificial intelligence and machine learning became a
very hot topic in the media industry, the IBC Best Conference Paper
Award goes to a team from BBC R&D which has investigated practical
applications. The award is made to the technical paper which, according
to the team of peer reviewers, delivers not just the most significant
new research, but does so in an accessible way.

The paper, ‘AI in production: video analysis and machine learning for
expanded live events coverage', will be presented at midday on Sunday 16
September as part of a new initiative at IBC2018 – ‘Tech Talks'. ‘Tech
Talks' ensures that the highly respected technical papers remain an
integral part of IBC and its conference, bringing the latest ideas to
all delegates in a fresh and accessible form.

Talking of the new innovation, Dr Nick Lodge, executive producer of
technical sessions in the conference, said "Senior technologists and
researchers who have been responsible for original and thought-provoking
advances in media technology will talk about their own work, and
audiences will have the rare opportunity to question these world experts.

"The technologies that impact the media industry are broad," he added.
"This year's ‘Tech Talks' will cover emerging areas like artificial
intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, 5G and blockchain."

In the award-winning paper a team of BBC researchers covering a wide
range of skills, under project lead Mike Evans, discuss a project known
as ‘Ed'. This prototype system is used to create near-live content with
minimal crew. An example might be a set of three unmanned 4K cameras,
from which ‘Ed' would produce a number of properly framed HD
pictures, cutting between them as appropriate.

"The point of the work is to allow coverage of more events, to reach
places we otherwise could not reach," Mike Evans said. "With
conventional production we cover only about six of the nearly 100 places
music is performed at the Glastonbury Festival, for example, or just a
tiny fraction of the 50,000 performances in 300 venues at the Edinburgh
Fringe."

"But with ‘Ed' we can reach many more of these and do so with production
techniques which are much less intrusive for the event itself," he
explained. "This technology will be suitable not just for major
production companies like the BBC, but for a whole range of use cases,
like minor sports which need to increase visibility, and even vloggers
who want to improve their online presence."

Dr Paul Entwistle, Chair of the IBC Technical Papers Committee which
provides careful peer review of the many papers proposed for IBC, said
"The detail in this paper is absolutely fascinating. The team has
developed an artificial intelligence system that understands the rhythms
and cadences that make for professional video production. This was
validated by research to see how well ‘Ed' performs compared with a real
director, and how the audience perceived the viewing experience."

The authors winning this year's IBC Best Conference Paper are Craig
Wright (who will be presenting it at IBC), Jack Allnut, Rosie Campbell,
Michael Evans, Ronan Forman, James Gibson, Stephen Jolly, Lianne Kerlin,
Zuzanna Lechelt, Graeme Phillipson and Matthew Shotton, all from BBC
R&D. They will be presented with the award as part of the IBC Awards
Ceremony, on Sunday evening 16 September at 18:30 in the Auditorium.

The ceremony will see the presentation of all of IBC's awards, including
the International Honour for Excellence. Attendance is free for all IBC
visitors.

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Notes to Editors:

For more information about IBC2018 visit: show.ibc.org

About IBC
IBC is the world's most influential media,
entertainment and technology show. It attracts 57,000+ attendees from
more than 170 countries and combines a highly respected and
peer-reviewed conference with an exhibition that showcases more than
1,700 leading suppliers of state-of-the-art electronic media and
entertainment technology.

IBC2018 Dates
Conference: 13 - 17 September 2018

Exhibition: 14 - 18 September 2018

For more information about IBC2018 visit: show.ibc.org/

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