MICO dissemination partner Codemill attended IBC in Amsterdam, Europe’s largest conference for broadcasters. As usual, this meant an equal-parts exhilarating and exhausting combination of business meetings, product presentations, technical demos and informal get-togethers, all strung together by rides with Uber and trams. The booths and show-cases were as spectacular as ever, and attracted visitors with e.g. live magicians, tango dancers, camera-carrying drones and robot arms.

A hot topic this year was recommendation systems and discoverability of content in a world that is “always on”. As linear TV is replaced by OTT alternatives such as Netflix, there is a concern that it will become ore difficult to introduce views to new content. In a panel discussion on the topic, Google’s Sasha Prueter revealed that Android TV is working intensively on Recommendation, which is important to get right since viewers starts to ignore recommendations if they get too many bad suggestions in succession.

Erik Åhlin, CEO at Swedish start-up Vidispine spoke about economic singularity, i.e. business models that become viable when the costs of e.g. creating, storing, distributing and viewing content approaches zero. Åhlin predicted that as this happens, we will see truly disruptive business scenarios where user data was the product. Examples are Klarna and Spotify that offers inexpensive or even free services, but are able to create value by aggregating massive amounts of user information.

As regards language processing, we were delighted to meet with Carlo Aliprandi from IBM spinn-off Synthema. Synthema offers speech-to-text as well as syntactic and semantic analysis for a range of languages, including French, Italian, and Spanish. Aliprandi showcased the software outputs of the previous FP7 project Sharing Audio-Visual Language Resources for Live Subtitling (SAVAS, http://www.fp7-savas.eu). The goal of SAVAS was to develop ASR technology for multilingual live subtitling and the resulting software can be a good complement to the MICO suite.