Sony Announces ‘Cognitive Intelligence’ TVs

Sony Electronics has announced what it calls “the world’s first cognitive intelligence televisions.”

The new Bravia XR televisions include Master Series Z9J 8K LED, MASTER Series A90J and A80J OLED, and X95J and X90J 4K LED.

Powered by the Cognitive Processor XR, the televisions use a new processing method designed to replicate the ways humans see and hear, according to Sony.

“When we see objects, we unconsciously focus on certain points. Cognitive Processor XR, powered by cognitive intelligence, divides the screen into numerous zones and detects where the ‘focal point’ is in the picture,” according to Sony. “While conventional Artificial Intelligence (AI) can only detect and analyze picture elements like color, contrast and detail individually, the new processor can cross-analyze an array of elements at once, just as our brains do. By doing so, each element is adjusted to its best final outcome, in conjunction with each other, so everything is synchronized and lifelike — something that conventional AI cannot achieve.”

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Cognitive Processor XR can also analyze sound position in the signal so the sound matches precisely with what’s on the screen, according to the company. In addition, it upconverts any sound to 3D surround sound.

“It learns, analyzes and understands unprecedented amounts of data and intelligently optimizes every pixel, frame and scene for the most lifelike picture and sound Sony has ever delivered,” according to a Sony press release.

“Sony’s goal is to offer viewers the best and most immersive experience – authentically delivering the creator’s true intent,” Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics, said in a statement. “Our new BRAVIA CORE technology and the XR lineup takes the industry to the next level with a powerful, cinematic experience, enabled by the world’s first TVs with cognitive processors.”

Warner to Use AI to Assist with Content Decisions

Warner Bros. has become one of the first major studios to begin using artificial intelligence (AI) when considering content decisions, including casting, in movie and TV productions.

Warner Bros. Pictures International inked a deal with Cinelytic to use its software platform — an AI-driven project management system that was launched for the motion picture industry last year. WBPI will leverage the software to inform decision making around content and talent valuation to support release strategies.

The move comes after Warner finished with 13.8% of the 2019 domestic film market, second behind Disney/Fox’s record 38% market share. Warner hopes the AI initiative will help generate more unexpected box office hits such as Joker.

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Launched in 2016, Cinelytic has slowly generated traction in Hollywood, included reported deals with STX, Ingenious Media and Productivity Media.

Specifically, the software combines AI and cloud-based technologies to enable studio executives to make faster, and better-informed, decisions throughout the content value chain by providing comprehensive data, predictive analytics and project management tools in an integrated online platform.

The platform reduces executives’ time spent on so-called “low-value, repetitive tasks” and instead focuses on generating insights for packaging, greenlighting, marketing and distribution decisions in real time.

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“In our industry, we make tough decisions every day that affect what — and how — we produce and deliver films to theaters around the world, and the more precise our data is, the better we will be able to engage our audiences,” Tonis Kiis, SVP of Warner Bros. Pictures International Distribution, said in a statement.

Competitors Sony and Microsoft Ink Entertainment Innovation Partnership

Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. May 16 announced that the two companies will partner on new innovations to enhance customer experiences in their direct-to-consumer entertainment platforms and AI solutions.

Under the memorandum of understanding signed by the parties, the two companies will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services. In addition, the two companies will explore the use of current Microsoft Azure datacenter-based solutions for Sony’s game and content-streaming services.

“By working together, the companies aim to deliver more enhanced entertainment experiences for their worldwide customers,” read a joint press release. “These efforts will also include building better development platforms for the content creator community.”

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As part of the memorandum of understanding, Sony and Microsoft will also explore collaboration in the areas of semiconductors and AI. For semiconductors, this includes potential joint development of new intelligent image sensor solutions. By integrating Sony’s image sensors with Microsoft’s Azure AI technology in a hybrid manner across cloud and edge, as well as solutions that leverage Sony’s semiconductors and Microsoft cloud technology, the companies aim to provide enhanced capabilities for enterprise customers. In terms of AI, the parties will explore incorporation of Microsoft’s advanced AI platform and tools in Sony consumer products, to provide highly intuitive and user-friendly AI experiences.

“Sony is a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology. We collaborate closely with a multitude of content creators that capture the imagination of people around the world, and through our cutting-edge technology, we provide the tools to bring their dreams and vision to reality,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, president and CEO of Sony, in a statement. “PlayStation itself came about through the integration of creativity and technology. Our mission is to seamlessly evolve this platform as one that continues to deliver the best and most immersive entertainment experiences, together with a cloud environment that ensures the best possible experience, anytime, anywhere. For many years, Microsoft has been a key business partner for us, though of course the two companies have also been competing in some areas. I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content. Additionally, I hope that in the areas of semiconductors and AI, leveraging each company’s cutting-edge technology in a mutually complementary way will lead to the creation of new value for society.”

“Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, in a statement. “Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers.”

Sony Alums Join Data Analytics Company’s New International Division

Data analytics company Algomus/Algo.ai has created an international division based in London.

The company has named Aodan Coburn, formerly EVP International at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, as president, Algo.ai International. Miguel Geli, previously division CIO for Sony Pictures and European MD of Sony Retail Services Europe, has been appointed COO, Algo.ai International.

Algo.ai comprises a team of software engineers, mathematicians, business analysts, machine learning experts and data scientists with extensive industry knowledge of manufacturing, distribution and retail supply chains to support the use of data to drive savings.

“This significant development reflects our desire to service our current customers on a broader territory basis and supports our ambition to expand both our geographical and industry reach,” CEO Amjad Hussain said in a statement.

“International expansion has been a strategic goal for some time, and with these two key appointments we are now well-positioned to repeat the tremendous growth opportunities we have seen domestically,” said John Daly, president of Algo.ai, in a statement.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to play a part in the Algomus story as this innovative company continues on its journey of global growth,” Coburn said in a statement.

“Algo.ai is a company with significant global potential which I am thrilled now to be part of,” Geli added in a statement.

Algomus is headquartered in Detroit, with additional offices in Los Angeles and now London.

Algo.ai created Algo, the world’s first supply chain analyst bot. Algo connects artificial intelligence, augmented reality and automation to retailers, distributors and manufacturers. The tool helps with activities including demand and inventory planning, sales forecasting, new product lifecycle management, and assortment optimization.

Cinelytic Gets $2.25 Million Investment

Data analytics firm Cinelytic announced a $2.25 million investment by Thailand’s T&B Media Global.

“The deal will enable Cinelytic to further advance its leading role in AI driven decision support for the entertainment industry,” according to a company press release.

Cinelytic combines artificial intelligence and cloud-based technologies to enable entertainment industry professionals to make faster, and better-informed, decisions throughout the content value chain by providing comprehensive data, predictive analytics and project management tools in an integrated online platform, according to the release.

“We are witnessing a seismic shift in the entertainment industry: while rapid technological advances have disrupted the traditional entertainment industry, they have also created huge opportunities,” said Tobias Queisser, co-founder and CEO of Cinelytic, in a statement. “By using the latest in machine learning, and cloud-based technology, we are able to provide the entertainment industry with game-changing insights in real-time. This investment enables us to expand Cinelytic’s platform for Film, TV and explore further cross verticals. We are delighted to have partnered with T&B Media Global who share and support our vision.”

“Companies in industries across the world have to begin with a data driven approach,” said Dr. Jwanwat Ahriyavraromp, CEO of T&B Media Global, in a statement. “Understanding the pros and cons of all scenarios should be foundational to any enterprise, and the same applies to entertainment. Cinelytic aggregates massive amounts of entertainment-based data and uses AI to provide invaluable analysis of potential returns for storytellers. It is a tool that will revolutionize how stories get told and launched into the market. We are very pleased to help be a part of this future-forward solution.”