NAB will witness an industry convulsing with the ‘everything everywhere’ of AI, the emergence of spatial entertainment, the parallel social ‘Creator Economy’ and attempt to explain blockchain. Disruption is the name of the game.

Driving back to LA from NAB Show last year Michael Cioni and his brother Peter made their decision to quit their jobs at Adobe and Netflix respectively. “I didn’t see any AI at NAB 2023 - and that was an opportunity,” Michael Cioni said.


NAB Show’s opening keynote will feature Ameca, an autonomously AI-powered humanoid robot, that will showcase the future of AI and human interaction

The serial entrepreneur was previously SVP of Global Innovation at, which was sold to Adobe for nearly $1.3bn in 2022. By June 2023 he and Peter had launched a new start-up, Strada, focused on smoothing post-production workflows with “Utility AI” tools.

Read more Navigating the shifting narrative of AI in media

It is this practical side of the new technology which will flood the halls and focus the chatter as the broadcast and broadcast engineering industries convene in Vegas.

Keep calm and carry on, it’s only AI

It’s been little more than a year since OpenAI turned the world upside down with ChatGPT-4 and senior media execs will hope to use NAB to take the heat out of the fearmongering that has gripped Hollywood.

“I understand that there’s anxiety but I don’t think panic helps anytime anywhere,” explains Andy Maltz, Principal at General Intelligence, who moderates the NAB conference session Navigating the AI Revolution in Entertainment. “We’re going to take a rational, dispassionate, educated and long-term view of AI’s strengths and weaknesses.”

Maltz is Chair of ISO/TC 36 Cinematography, the motion picture industry’s international technical standards body, and he previously helped found the Academy’s Science and Technology Council, and co-initiator of AAF, an industry-standard media authoring interchange format.

“AI and related technologies are everything everywhere all at once and we are in that wild west phase now. But – and I’d even put money on it - we’re probably going to get to the same place we’ve always ended up which is an agreement on technical interfaces and data formats and business practices. That is necessary to continue to have a thriving $40bn global motion picture industry.”

A pressing concern in the run-up to the US Presidential elections is the potential spreading of deepfakes and AI-generated misinformation.

Fox CTO Melody Hildebrandt will use her speaking slot to call on broadcasters to unite, fight back and flourish in the new AI economy.

“It’s time for broadcasters to actually take the lead in the technical conversation by defining the core architecture about how our industry is going to run in the future,” she says.

Fox is bullish on the new capabilities and economic opportunities of AI, she says, but also believes publishers should control how their IP is commercialized by open-source AI models.

Hildebrandt is the company’s lead on Verify, a project that sets out the technical foundations for proving the provenance of media that the broadcaster publishes.

Every single piece of content that is published online by Fox News or Fox Sports or from any one of its local stations, is now cryptographically signed with Verify.

“The moment content goes online it gets simultaneously written on the blockchain and can be verified using the tool,” she says.

Judy Parnall, Head of Standards for the BBC, is also speaking in a session explaining how content credentials can be used to retain trust in news output.

“People are reacting to AI as the worst thing that has ever happened to humanity or welcoming it as the most wonderful god-send,” she says. “We know we can’t avoid it. The question is how can we harness it for good to improve the process of news gathering and to increase trust in the truth of our reporting.”

Read more Momentum builds behind content credentials to combat AI deepfakes

The hysteria surrounding AI tends to mask the practical benefits that tools using it can have on film and TV production today. A session at NAB ‘Ask Me Anything: AI Post Production Workflow Experts Tell All’ intends to put that right.

Pinar Seyhan Demirdag, Co-Founder of Seyhan Lee and developer of Gen-AI filmmaking software Cuebric will be there too. She is adamant that AI tools like hers do not spell the end of physical soundstages or deep human involvement in the craft.

“There will be a possibility for people not to use any actors, if they want. It will be a choice. But I know that I will always be watching movies that speak to my heartstrings. That’s why there will always be a world where an actual camera will track an actual actor and the background will be tracked as a relationship.”

Immersive, spatial and XR

Immersive content creation is another disruptive trend given a spur earlier this year with the release of Apple Vision Pro.

TheArchive_Collage (1)

At NAB, Jules Urbach CEO and Founder, OTOY, will share the making of The Archive, which aims to capture Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s lifetime of works with holographic immersion

“What doesn’t exist right now - and maybe Apple will create it soon - is the YouTube of spatial experiences,” says Lucas Wilson, Founder and CEO, Supersphere, which is launching a content creation tool capable of manipulating video and virtual worlds in 3D space.

“Immersive experiences matter because the user is more engaged. So the right question is not why has VR failed to take off but in what direction is content going in? All the trend lines point to content being more immersive.”

“Meta or Apple or Google will come up with the first true spatial distribution platform. I think that’s where we will all want to live.”

Presenting the NAB session ‘Harnessing AI-driven storytelling for efficiencies in content creation’ Rachel Joy Victor, Co-Founder at, says, “We’re witnessing a shift towards interactive narratives and spatial experiences, where viewers have agency in shaping the story.”

Joy Victor is a designer, strategist and worldbuilder, but importantly she also has an academic background in computational neuroscience and ‘Spatial Economics’.

For Joy Victor, this is about leveraging real-time spatial data to personalise experiences. “XR devices [like Vision Pro] offer unprecedented access to personal data, raising concerns about privacy and data ownership,” she warns. “It’s crucial to establish robust data policies to protect individuals’ privacy while still enabling immersive experiences.”

We are entering a world where video will no longer be captured and presented as a 2D experience on flat screens but as spatial experiences enjoyed with virtual or extended reality headgear.

The building blocks are being put in place and creators of all kinds better get ready.

Emmy Award-Winning Director Michaela Ternasky Holland will co-deliver a masterclass intended to define a new media of creativity and a new visual language for immersive storytelling.

“Nobody has it figured out,” she says. “It’s early days for the medium and people make mistakes, as well as good work. But because the hardware keeps improving, we’re going to start to see a rise in spatial storytelling.”

Wearing headgear isn’t the only way to experience immersive audiovisual content. Andrew Shulkind, SVP Capture & Innovation at Sphere Entertainment Co - one of the masterminds of content at the adjacent Las Vegas MSG Sphere - will explain how the bespoke ultra-high resolution camera system, known as Big Sky, is being used to transform and optimise film for the giant display venues.

Creator Economy, Big Tech and Web3

A third area of huge disruption is the rise of the Creator Economy of content made for social media platforms and monetized by creators directly to consumers outside of traditional studio gatekeepers.

NAB is intent on bringing the two worlds together in several conference sessions, not least in an attempt to try and skew away from its own ageing white male demographic.

At 137 million subscribers and counting, MrBeast is not only the largest YouTube channel in America but the fourth biggest in the world. It is spearheaded by 25-year-old creator Jimmy Donaldson whose media empire is so huge he now employs a large, professional team to run it. Heading that up is MrBeast’s President, Marc Hustvedt who comes to town determined to reprogram assumptions that legacy media execs might have about social in the session Expanding the Creator Economy with MrBeast.

“If it feels like network TV and you’re just defending the old way of doing it, then I’m probably in the wrong place,” he told FastCompany. “We’re going to keep playing around.”

As if that weren’t enough disruption, it will not be hard to find executives and vendors arguing that film and TV needs to adopt a wholly new infrastructure if it wants to compete with Big Tech.

One of them is Seth Shapiro, a two-time Emmy Award winner and media consultant who presents ‘The Next Business Model For Hollywood’ asking M&E to think again about Web3, the blockchain, and the metaverse.

“They’ve all heard ‘metaverse’ and ‘blockchain’ and Web3 so many times and they’re just inured to it, they think it’s just more hype,” says Shapiro. “Well, some of it is a scam, but the absolute truth is that future generations are going to spend more time in the metaverse, in virtual worlds and gaming environments.

“The digitization of currency and direct transactions between consumers and whoever they want to buy from whether it’s an influencer, creator or a studio is happening. Disintermediation is real and it’s coming for entertainment.”

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