SXSW Austin 2024: Paramount CTO on winning gen AI arms race


“As a media company, we’re going to have a key voice in the evolution of AI systems.”

I’m not going to win the generative AI arms race, but I’m going to stay really close to the people that do,” Paramount chief technology officer Phil Wiser has told the SXSW Austin crowd.

“There is going to be a couple of them, at least on a core foundational perspective. Looking at the economics of fighting that battle, they’re a handful and all of them want to work with our content.

Wiser was speaking to a packed room, which included Mediaweek, as part of his featured session, ‘Paramount’s CTO Reimagines the Modern Media Company’. He discussed how trends such as AI, cloud computing, mixed reality, and NFTs are reshaping the production, processing, and distribution of content.

Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that interacts with users in natural language and can create novel data, ranging from story outlines, reports, and other text outputs to content like images, videos, and audio. This has created the potential for a monumental shift in how media companies produce content moving forward.

While technology arms races are not uncommon, the thing that separates generative AI is its magnitude, Wiser proposed.

“You will notice that the level of investment is unprecedented. The breakthroughs that we’re seeing with these systems is really interesting.

“It’s a confluence of the key technology getting to a point where it can support that level of processing, where the cost of computer storage and distributed networking to clients have got to a point where you can do the next couple orders of magnitude to unlock what’s happening.”

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