Content creators must be 'sensible' on how AI is used, Paramount CTO says

AI technology is evolving into a helpful, assistive tool in areas such as script analysis, but is not a platform that is adept at developing shows and movies from scratch, says Paramount Global EVP and CTO Phil Wiser.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

April 15, 2024

2 Min Read
AI Learning and Artificial Intelligence Concept
(Source: Pitinan Piyavatin/Alamy Stock Photo)

Looking to cut through the hype on artificial intelligence (AI), a top tech exec at Paramount Global said AI can serve as a helpful "tool" to content owners and content creators, but suggested it's not a platform for creating movies, TV shows and other content out of whole cloth.

As a tool, AI works well in certain applications, aiding media companies with script analysis, for example, Phil Wiser, EVP, CTO and head of multiplatform operations for Paramount Global, said here Monday at the NAB Show's Streaming Summit conference in Las Vegas.

Dan Rayburn and Phil Wiser at NAB 2024, April 15, 2024

"AI is a great application for that," he said.

But when AI is used to build a script, the result tends to be "very boring," said Wiser, an exec who helps drive areas such as production, media supply chain, streaming and linear channel distribution and the company's shift toward converged IP-based core tech systems.

Still, that hasn't stopped others from integrating AI into their productions. Last week, for example, TCLtv+, a streaming service attached to the TV maker that launched its own studio last week, said its first original production will be an AI-generated special called "Next Stop Paris." The short romance movie will feature professional voice actors and an original script, but will take a "hybrid" approach by tapping into AI-assisted animation technology. The movie is set to debut this summer online and on the TCLtv+ streaming apps.

Related:Paramount's final fate starts to take shape

Wiser stressed that content makers must be "sensible" about how AI can be used in new productions. But he does see AI's use in marketing materials as a "huge opportunity," given that the results will be based on derivative works, "which is what AI is good at."

Time will tell how expansive Paramount gets with its use of AI technologies. Paramount Global is among the media giants focused on originals through its Paramount+ streaming service (which now includes Showtime), a stable of cable networks, CB and the Pluto TV free, ad-supported television streaming (FAST) service.

Wiser also believes that AI will be a real contributor for the long term, noting the high level of investment the category is now receiving.

But he stresses that the application of AI tech is still in its nascent days, likening it to the "Web 1.0" era of the Internet that saw a wave of companies jump into the scene but not survive for the long-term.

Still, AI tech will become an increasingly valuable tool in the years to come, he predicted. "It will change how we operate computer systems, not just media … like the way the Internet changed everything," Wiser said.

Related:Apple and Paramount explore streaming bundle – report

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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