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AI media: A reality coming

Dec 20,2018 - Last updated at Dec 21,2018

Are many local and Arab media outlets about to drown in a tsunami of artificial intelligence (AI)? The short answer is: Yes, and sooner than you think.

However, there is still time to get ahead of the wave if they act fast and immediately start investing in training their teams to leverage the impending era of AI, which will dramatically change the media and entertainment industry as we know it. Then, they have to move ahead to explore and deploy AI applications in their businesses, following in the footsteps of international success stories, such as the Associated Press news agency, The Wall Street Journal and CNN.

While doing that, one of the most essential facts media outlets should take into consideration is that the smartphone, now the key tool in exchanging information and news, will somehow lose its status in the coming few years. Predictions indicate that it will need to be heavily upgraded to survive as the industry will be hungrier for smarter devices that respond to vocal and, later, visual commands, in no time and with high accuracy.

Even humans face the scrap heap. Robots will act as journalists, gathering and processing content, doing the writing and editing and handling most of the news production process. This will leave only the smartest and fittest humans to compete and keep their jobs!

Moreover, AI systems are forecast, studies show, to facilitate media coverage by drastically shortening the processes of videotaping, photography and writing. They will even interact with audiences, replying to most of their comments and questions.

As a result, major mergers are anticipated between leading media and technology giants in the near future, with reciprocal benefits, as high-tech companies will put their inventions at the disposal of media, while media outlets will be promoting their tech suppliers' products. "Drone media", for example, is likely to play a bigger role in the AI age, as they will offer an efficient way to cover newsworthy events, especially in dangerous conflict zones.

Local and Arab media should as of now, and without delay, invest in AI, “as failure to keep up with technological advancements and their applications simply means extinction”, as one of my Columbia University professors put it once.

It is an AI media revolution, and it does not need an expert to predict that.

 

The writer is a media expert and senior advisor on international strategic communications. [email protected]

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