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Anssi Komulainen: Yle Beta is an incubator for future media experiences

Vaalea mies ja puhelin, tausta kelta-mustapilkkuinen (Yayoi Kusama)
Vaalea mies ja puhelin, tausta kelta-mustapilkkuinen (Yayoi Kusama) Picture by: Anssi Komulainen/Yle anssi komulainen

Yle Beta kicks off with AI content recognition and by exploring the possibilities of VR for events and conflict journalism.

Because we intend to be a part of the media landscape in future, we have to to participate in the game right from the beginning. Artificial intelligence and machine learning, automated content and robot journalism, and virtual reality are areas of interest to a forward thinking media company.

The competition for people’s attention is truly global and the quality standards are no longer set only by the established usual suspects. Instead, the bar is constantly raised by fast and clever newcomers who have both the ambition and the abilities to change the whole game. The only way to keep up is to team up and start playing the game even before the rules are set.

Yle Beta is an incubator for future media experiences. We’re inviting you on a quest for something new. We want to offer you the opportunity to test the possibilities of new technologies and, at the same time, together learn what they can offer us from the perspective of storytelling and journalism. We will put to use everything we’ve learned from building a next generation media experience, the best public digital service in the world.

The project launched in the beginning of November with our first Beta Day event followed by two calls for ideas (see Arctic Startup coverage). One for experiments seeking new automatic ways for making Yle Areena’s content visible and another for exploring the next step of storytelling and journalism in VR/AR. We were stunned by the amount and ambition of ideas that were submitted in only two weeks time. It was not an easy task for our jury, comprised of experts from both Yle and the development community outside.

The first ever experiments conducted by Yle Beta and our technology partners will be about finding out how well cutting edge AI could tell us what is said about a specific subject in Yle Areena’s streams, both audio and video. We hope to have an early prototype of some sort ready by the end of the year and our first test results to be shared soon after. At the same time, our VR/AR track starts with testing how to deliver some first hand crisis experiences virtually to our doorsteps. Soon after, we’ll have a look at what new possibilities VR brings us as event spectators.

Yle Beta is all of us at Yle and everywhere else that can’t wait to fearlessly dive into everything new. It’s an open membership, and you can join in by rolling up your sleeves and participating in epic stuff. The easiest way to participate in Yle Beta is to read our blog, join the discussion on our Facebook page and come to our next event.

And most of all, to present us with ideas about what the future media might be like and how we could experiment with it already today.

Anssi Komulainen, Chief Partnership Officer