M+E Europe

Tech Veteran Rose Looks Forward — and Back — at ITS Localisation

Technology industry veteran Scott Rose used his 28th Feb opening keynote, “Year 5 of the 3 Year Plan,” at the Innovation and Transformation Summit (ITS): Localisation event in London to reflect back on what he got right and wrong with his predictions for the sector five years ago and also looked into the future to make some more predictions.

The former CTO of Iyuno-SDI and SDI Media looked back to the debut of ITS Localisation’s predecessor event, the Content Workflow Management Forum in 2018, where key industry trends were identified and bold predictions were made … partly by Rose himself, in the presentation “Connecting the Supply Chain.”

Rose has 30-plus years of experience delivering localisation technology and workflow solutions to the global media and entertainment industry, and is currently the executive advisor for Los Angeles-based Media Globalization Consultancy.

Very few people will look more than five years into the future to provide their vision of what they think will happen – and “for good reason,” he said 28th Feb.

When making predictions like this, “you line up what you think is going on today and you try to project into the future” based on that, he noted.

In 2018, there were several technologies that were “coming into fruition,” he pointed out. “We were talking a lot about AI. We were talking a lot about automated workflows, auto conform for localisation and many others,” he noted.

What remained to be seen was “how in the world are we actually going to manage the future and especially … the increase in content,” he said.

In 2018, “we saw an incredible increase in primarily original content” as a result of the rise of direct-to consumer streaming content for over-the-top (OTT) platforms and the sense that “there was going to be this incredible increase” in original content demand — and indeed there has been,” he said, but added: “We also noticed that there would be probably less time to do it and [it would] be far more complex.”

Although you may have just a single piece of content,” the need for “localisation multiplies it and multiplies the effort and this is … the hardest thing to kind of figure out sometimes…. What is the effort, what is the true increase in production?”

That is clearly reflected in the “amount of recording rooms that are being built both in London and in L.A., in particular; you can see this is a huge uptick,” he said, also pointing to the rise we’ve seen in episodic content. “And that changes the upstream workflow a bit because that’s a very, very different mode of operating,” with deadlines and “anything downstream [being] impacted by that,” he said.

Over the past five years, we have also seen many mergers and acquisitions in the sector, he pointed out.

In the process, there has been “this transformation for how we create content and certainly how we move this content into [the] consumers’ world,” he said.

But “consolidation doesn’t necessarily mean more capacity,” he told attendees, noting: “I think we definitely learned that you have to build capacity; you have to train.” There are also “a lot of new players in the mix,” he added.

Meanwhile, “in order to hit those volumes that we knew were coming, there’s also a concept that there’s got to be integrations within the supply chain,” he noted. But there are “dozens and dozens of companies who actually facilitate this,” he added. “There are companies that have been developed that actually will take on all” the work from ingesting content “all the way through localisation and distribution.”

He predicted that, “on the production side, we are going to be moving upstream more and more [and we] need to be involved in production, or at least in the post-production, so that we can understand what’s better, what’s coming downstream for localisation.”

What has become increasingly important, meanwhile, is “connecting the ecosystem to AI,” and learning how to capture metadata and perform speech to text and machine translation, he also said, adding: “This is something that more and more” keeps increasing; “every day we see these tool sets being integrated with the AI services.”

Content also “really needs to be tiered…. If you’re going to use any one of these technologies in particular, you have to understand what tier content” is, he said, adding: “There is high tier content, there’s a middle tier content and there’s a lower tier content,” he noted.

He moved on to discuss transparency, explaining: “The pandemic definitely accelerated this significantly…. Without that sort of event, we would not have gone remote [and] have not gone to cloud as quickly as possible,” he said.

Another challenge, meanwhile, is that just about every piece of content that people receive in this industry includes a “bunch of files.” He added: “Five years ago I complained about it [and] I’m still complaining about it but this is something that’s going to take time. But we have to get to a point where we’re working as data, not as a bunch of spreadsheets and word process files and emails.”

In addition to localisation going “upstream into production,” he predicted “mainstream AI-generated localisation will become [a] primary focus, I think, particularly for the mid and lower tier content,” and that generative AI ChatGTP “will find [its]  footing in our workflows,” including smart contracts.

The Innovation and Transformation Summit: Localisation was sponsored by AppTek, Signiant, EIDR, Iyuno, LinQ Media Group, Vubiquity, OOONA, XL8, and Collot Baca, and was produced by MESA, in association with the Content Localisation Council.