UX Research Lead - BBC R&D
How will artificial intelligence and machine learning change media? The experience of it? The experience of creating it? There’s amazing amounts of content in the broadcasters’ archives. Maybe that could be used to train software algorithms how to compose shots and when to cut between camera angles. Such automated systems could radically expand the range of cultural and community events that could be brought to remote viewers. And if algorithms can choose the elements to compose into a media experience, surely they could do that individually? For you? Your specific set of devices? Your immediate context?
In this talk I’ll discuss the practicalities and ethics of this data-driven future, and the work we’re doing to ensure that it’s fundamentally human-centred: working with skilled professional programme makers to understand their behaviours — how they’ve learned; when they break the rules; how they consider viewers — and embed that in creative algorithms. How do we build an effective picture of what the audience value in their experiences, by understanding their lives, and using their own words, rather than just counting the increasing number of hours they spend with their devices? And, as a public service organisation, how can we make the decisions that may be taken by AI algorithms, intelligible to the people creating the media, so that creative and editorial quality isn’t put at risk.
In the Future Experience Technologies research group at BBC R&D engineers, designers and behavioural scientists investigate the impact of data-driven and interaction technologies on media services, audiences and production. We have to be experts, not only in the enabling technologies for audio-visual processing and user interfaces, but also the capabilities of human perception and cognition. I have a lot of experience in developing innovative tools for critical creative tasks, including the production of subtitles and shot planning for multi-camera TV direction. Before joining the BBC in 1999, I was a Lecturer at the University of Reading; leading research there into auditory interfaces. I got my PhD in spatial audio and psychoacoustics at British Telecom Labs and the University of York in 1997, and I’m a Chartered Engineer and a member of ACM and the IET. I love the interdisciplinarity of HCI work, and experimenting with novel, creative methodologies. My publications include papers on spatial audio, accessibility and HCI/UX research methods.