NHK has developed a new AI-driven broadcasting technology called “Smart Production” to quickly and accurately gather and analyse diverse types of information from society and deliver information to a wide range of viewers.
Smart Production uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse diverse types of information obtained from social media and open data as well as know-how related to program production possessed by broadcast stations. This approach makes it possible to extract events and incidents in society and present the results of analysis to producers. In particular, image analysis technology for recognising objects in video and speech recognition technology for generating transcripts of interviews enable metadata to be automatically generated for video footage.
Additionally, to convey information to a wide range of viewers including hearing/visually impaired persons, research and development is progressing on technology for automatically converting broadcast data into content that can be easily understood by viewers with special needs.
In recent years, as program material transmission lines become capable of high speed and the capacity of recording media increases, broadcasting stations have become capable of obtaining large amounts of video and audio contents for program creation.
Also, as the use of social media becomes widespread, first reports of accidents and incidents and information about social trends now appear on platforms such as Twitter.
Furthermore, it is now possible to monitor open data such as sensor information released by municipalities and incorporate such data into news programs. The work of extracting materials needed for programs from vast amounts of video materials and finding information useful for news presentation from social media data has become extremely burdensome for program production members.
Also, in order for the produced programs to reach all viewers, including foreign and hearing and visually-impaired persons, it is necessary to convert the format of the contents to suit the viewing and listening environment of the viewer.
Consequently, in collaboration with other departments at NHK, the NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories is engaged in the research and development of AIdriven content production technologies and universal service that allows human-friendly broadcasting to reach all people, including viewers with hearing and visual impairments and foreign people.
by Hiroyuki Kaneko, Jun Goto, Yoshihiko Kawai, Takahiro Mochizuki, Shoei Sato, Atsushi Imai & Yuko Yamanouchi