Using an MSc in AI to Unleash Media’s Untapped Potential
Inspired by AI
With over thirty years of experience in media technology, including two decades as a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) specialising in video streaming, I was recently inspired to pursue an MSc in Artificial Intelligence (AI). In April, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) asked me to speak as part of MBRF’s KnowTalks, where I explored the impact of technology on storytelling across creation, distribution, and engagement (MBRF, 2023). During my research, I discovered OpenAI’s generative AI, ChatGPT, which was near its peak of exponential growth (Carr, 2023). Instead of just speaking about AI, I could speak with an AI. That interaction solidified the importance of undertaking an MSc in AI where I aim to shape the future impact of AI in media and storytelling.
Why an MSc?
The importance of any learning comes from the value, growth and innovation created from gaining the expertise. According to GOV.UK, the benefit of a post-graduate degree is only £6,500, down by £1,000 between 2021 and 2022 (GOV.UK, 2023). The real value is the industry-recognised certification of deep scientific knowledge and critical thought in AI. We grow when our unconscious mind combines new learning with existing expertise to innovate creative solutions (Ingold, 2017). While the coursework component of an MSc enables growth, the deeper benefit to industry is the applicable innovation in research.
What is the AI and Expertise Superpower?
Applicable innovation requires understanding both AI and the sector. Javad Khangosstar, Big Data and Analytics Solution Manager for Virgin Media O2, recently spoke on the difficulty of recruiting enough staff who had expertise in both telecommunications and AI (Ingold, 2023). For ChatGPT, Weimann-Sandig (2023) also identified that subject expertise was necessary to both generate and refine effective prompts and ascertain the quality of the results. By combining this MSc in AI with my industry expertise I aim to further identify areas for innovation in media and storytelling to help my industry make and save money and to shape its future growth.
How is AI important to media and storytelling?
McKinsey noted that the most job ads were for Applied AI, with an economic value of up to $26 trillion, and generative AI was the fastest growth area at 44% year-on-year (Chui et al., 2023). Partly due to concerns around AI (such as generative AI and deepfakes) replacing jobs and impacting pay, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) are striking against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) (Isidore, 2023). Consequently, AMPTP member company Netflix received backlash after posting a $900,000 ad for an AI product manager (Klippenstein, 2023). From its perspective, however, Netflix is trying to turn around its declining year-on-year revenue growth, and is already using AI for analysis, personalisation, and storyline investment (MBRF, 2023).
What is the Wider Impact of AI?
In conclusion, AI’s significant recent growth has made it more important to many in industry, including myself. To fully understand AI’s transformative impact, I realised I needed to do an MSc in AI. Firstly, to understand the constituents of AI more deeply at a technical level. Secondly, to combine that understanding with specialist industry experience to understand its relevance. Thirdly, to identify gaps and create opportunities for innovation to help industry make and save money. Finally, to shape responsible practices that consider both creator and corporate and use AI-driven innovation to positively transform media and storytelling. An MSc in AI is essential to gain the depth of knowledge for innovation while safeguarding all stakeholders.
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