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BBC, ITV, Future & Meta Debate AI As TV Development Tool: “A Drake Record Isn’t A Drake Record Unless He Records It” — TellyCast Digital Content Forum

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AI might be here, but it’s not about to develop the next big TV hit.

That was the message from UK industry execs during a panel on original IP in social video held at the TellyCast Digital Content Forum in London yesterday.

“When the AI conversation was first happening in our office, our development team spent weeks playing and plugging in various [AI tools],” said John Farrar, Chief Creative Officer at The Playboy Bunny Murders co-producer Future Studios.

“Lots of the ideas were on the surface interesting but in the end it naturally just wittered out. It just wasn’t there yet and it didn’t fell to us like AI is going to solve the problem of cracking the next big format. That’s still on us as humans. That may change but the ideas [it developed for us] felt derivative.

“A Drake record wouldn’t be a Drake record if he hadn’t recorded it,” he added.

Mike Beale, ITV Studios Managing Director of Global Creative and Production Support, agreed, saying AI tools were not yet near the stage of coherently developing ideas that a human couldn’t envisage.

“If it’s using existing content, it’s the same as if a human is using existing content. It’s the same principle,” he said. “If it’s using multiple ideas, that happens every day — we do that to ourselves perfectly fine already without the digital space destroying it for us. It’s not original unless it’s created something brand new that’s adjacent and I don’t know if AI as done that yet.”

Madi Woodstock, BBC Studios Director, Digital Content & Programming – Scripted, said that while AI is “obviously very clever,” it is not replacing development execs just yet.

Dan Biddle, Meta‘s Entertainment Partnerships Lead for Northern Europe, added that there was no sense AI was yet at the level where it could generate content that was monetizable on Facebook or Instagram.

The principle behind any distribution is original content is rewarded and the people putting in the work should be rewarded by getting the monetization,” he said. “On our platform you can do branded content deals, subscription services and fan payments. How many are making fan payments to AI? I don’t know.”

The execs were talking during a busy day at London’s BFI Southbank, where podcaster and industry PR veteran Justin Crosby’s TellyCast Digital Content Forum brought together influencers, execs, creatives, producers and student.

The likes of Snapchat Head of UK Partnerships Lucy Luke, BBC Studios execs Jasmine Dawson and Nat Poulter and Banijay Chief Digital & Marketing Officer Damien Viel delivered keynotes on their visions for digital and branded content. Deadline was the media partner at the event, which attracted well over 350 individuals who watched a series of talks and presentations during the day, before producers such as BBC Studios, Spirit Studios, Quintus Studios, Wall of Entertainment and Soho Studios Entertainment sold their latest digital ideas at an early evening pitching sessions.

 

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