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Preparing the foundation for AI-based studio automation now will enable future improvements to be adopted quickly, efficiently and safely. Running a studio will cost less and will also be more sustainable.

Studio technology doesn’t have to get more complicated as it becomes more powerful. With capable control systems and some help from AI, it gets easier to use. Which means you can do more with less.

Good technology gets simpler, not harder, to use

Technology is now so advanced that no single person on the planet can explain how it all works. AI helps design silicon processors; the internet – the largest machine ever made – spans the globe, and yet products and services become easier to use, not harder. In studios, technology has led to robotic cameras, assignable control panels, and digital processing, which lets us summon up detailed data-driven graphics that would have been impossible with earlier generations of hard-wired processing.

An early example of this trend is Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs). Early PCs ran MS-DOS, a command-line operating system that required arcane commands to make it work. Simple tasks, like copying a file, demanded the exact syntax. When Windows arrived, you simply dragged a file from one location to another. Most of the complexity was gone, and suddenly, everyone was using computers.

Technology in the workplace

Simpler Studios

In studios, computerised systems have already simplified operation and management, but recent advances can take this much further. The goal is to reduce the time between a creative idea and its execution. Imagine a swooping introductory camera move, flying in from a high, wide-angle shot, moving close to the left of an LED pillar before dipping low as it approaches the presenter. New technology will set up that move in the same time as it takes to say the words that describe it.

Technology has simplified the user experience across the board – from professional applications to consumer products. In a specialised environment, the effect can be dramatic. It’s analogous to the advanced driver-assist functions now found in many cars. They take the drudgery out of stop-start traffic or monotonous motorway driving, but the driver must stay alert to deal with unexpected or complex situations. Studio automation will allow humans to do more and often better.

News presenters in studio

Finding a role for automation in the studio

Studio architects design modern studios to be flexible, with extensive floor areas and large LED screens in the background, mid or foreground. The LED screens and movable studio elements make studios increasingly “virtual” rather than fixed. This is a huge advantage and allows the same space to be quickly reconfigured for different programming and even within programme segments. Network connectivity minimises cabling issues as virtually everything – from cameras to camera automation systems – can be
plugged into the nearest network socket.

In this type of environment, setting up a studio is mainly a matter of organising resources, including presenters, guests, lighting, microphones, cameras, camera supports, and all the technical paraphernalia needed for a live broadcast. Automating as much of this as possible can lead to significant savings and a more agile, responsive studio operation.

Humans are typically not deterministic. Different individuals will behave differently, and even the same person will not always do the same thing all the time. This variability makes humans human and is an intrinsic part of our ability to be creative and solve problems. It’s possible that if there were no variability between humans or between our own actions, we would achieve very little. We would all make the same mistakes and keep repeating them.

So, we should celebrate humanness. It’s not randomness; it’s difference with a purpose. And perhaps ironically, it’s one reason why AI will have such a central role in studio automation.

AI can learn from our behaviour and that of others. In a live broadcast studio, the nature of the task – to present to the camera – constrains the presenter’s degree of freedom. In “narrow” environments like this, AI has much to contribute.

Humans struggle to concentrate over long periods with tedious tasks, and this can lead to errors and stress for the presenter and the production team because mistakes are instantly visible to viewers. Existing automation can deal with consistently recurring tasks, but AI-based automation can adapt to unplanned events like changes in a running order.

A dynamic response to unplanned or rapidly evolving circumstances is just one example of how and why broadcasters should introduce AI into their studios….

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What’s covered?

Part 1: Software architecture in the digital studio age

Explore the benefits of AI automation, including enhanced accuracy and streamlined operations, and gain a glimpse into future trends such as responsive presenter settings and voice-controlled robotics.

Part 2: AI and the future of robotic studios

Look at the benefits of transitioning to IP-based solutions and address challenges in enterprise network integration. Demonstrate real-world applications of network-friendly systems and discuss the potential of cloud-based broadcasting.

Part 3: Doing more with less – empowering the studio control room team

Provides comprehensive insights into how AI-driven automation can streamline studio setup, optimize real-time performance, enhance productivity with voice prompting and presenter tracking.

Part 4: Making robots more creative on-air

Learn how AI technology overcomes current limitations, generates smoother camera movements, and enables new production possibilities, empowering creative professionals to innovate in live studio environments.
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