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New MESA Podcast Explores AI with Prime Focus Technologies CEO Ramki Sankaranarayanan

Media and entertainment companies are increasingly embracing artificial intelligence (AI) as skepticism of the technology declines in the sector, Ramki Sankaranarayanan, global CEO and founder of Prime Focus Technologies, said recently, during MESA’s first inaugural webinar, “Strategies for AI Adoption“ as part of a new content series being published today.

Prime Focus Technologies was selected to kick off this new series because of their early investment in AI and we can expect a three-part interview with their subject matter experts that explores the practical adoption and integration of AI products across all entertainment workflows.

AI is “on everybody’s mind” now, whether it’s generative AI, workflow AI, or other kind of AI integrations, according to Guy Finley, president and CEO of MESA. The challenges now, he said, are: “How do we decrease costs? How do we increase efficiency and get more things done?”

“It’s been a rocky road,” he continued. Since the explosion that was seen when ChatGPT arrived, attracting a lot of interest, to the impact felt in our industry as the strike brought the spectre of AI and the fear around the possibility that automation will leave the human element behind.

Sankaranarayanan called ChatGTP’s launch in April of 2023 a “good catalyst” for AI. As a result of it, “we look at last year very differently” in terms of AI interest than years past, he said, noting that is “something that’s been very constructive in dealing with the criticism or skepticism – or a combination of both” – that was widespread before ChatGPT.

In the past, AI had “really been within the purview of the technology departments, or maybe extended a little bit to the operations side [of companies],” Sankaranarayanan said.

It has now, however, become “dinner table conversations in every household,” Sankaranarayanan pointed out. “That’s excited me, the workforce at large, [and] the leadership at large starting all the way from the CEOs onto everybody else.”

To some degree, when it came to AI, Sankaranarayanan noted: “There was this believability issue originally” among people, many of whom said: “What can AI do? It can never be as good as humans.”

It was also “perceived to be a competition with humans,” according to Sankaranarayanan. But It’s “really not a competition with humans in reality,” he said.

One source of debate about the technology, meanwhile, was AI’s “prediction accuracy,” he noted, adding business leaders are looking to understand “how AI can be helpful” to them.

But he added: “PFT is not only a creator of AI. It’s also a consumer of AI. And so we have an experience or two (about the skepticism) because [that] skepticism is in our backyard. In that sense, I’m not creating technology dealing with customers who are skeptical. We have created technology and deployed it within our own groups within the company because, on the services side, I would say that, over the last 12 to 18 months or so … I’ve seen a real change,” with business leaders “transitioning sort of from skeptical to being impatient on how can this be even better so that it becomes … game changing” for the industry.

Launching today as a preview webinar, the “MESA Podcast” will be available soon on all the major directories and will feature both original content as well as highlights from keynote speakers from events across all of MESA’s verticals, communities, and organisations.

To watch, listen or download the video of this engaging conversation, visit: https://vimeo.com/mesaonline/podcast-ep1