Artificial Intelligence, Blockchains and Other Innovations at CEPIC in Berlin
Innovation was high on the agenda at the largest gathering of media libraries and stock agencies in the World in mid-2018. CEPIC stands for the Coordination of European Picture Agencies Stock, Press and Heritage and aims to be the centre of the global picture industry. It is attended by the largest players in the industry and in 2018 attracted presentations from Adobe, Google, the International Press and Telecommunication Council (IPTC) and many other established and emerging businesses and organisations seeking to innovate in the media licensing space.
Blockchain and its potential for effective international payment solutions as well as other applications in the all-digital media licensing market was the talk of the conference with a number of innovators suggesting solutions. Adobe showcased its Sensei machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) platform and its application in intelligent search returns across its 120 million images including being able to isolate a subject in a picture from the background or search for images with similar depth of field.
A major lobby point in the conference was the IPTC lobbying Google to get its search engine noting images that have the copyright and creator fields filled in. News post the conference is that Google has taken steps to implement that such that the public is notified if an image is copyrighted – a good incentive for photographers and archives to ensure that the relevant IPTC fields are populated prior to images being delivered to users or placed on the internet.
There were many innovative solutions presented at the Congress for dealing with the rampant misuse of imagery on the internet. An initiative by the Copyright Hub in the United Kingdom called eCopyright has created a way of marking content to facilitate the connection between potential users and copyright holders. Organisations such as Copytrack use image search and copyright registery technology to track down and charge copyright offenders while Smartframe prevents the copying of images off a website, IPStock proposes using blockchain technology to facilitate seamless use rights purchases, and Imatag offers a solution for marking images with an invisible and persistent watermark and tracking them on the internet.
The Heritage Day at the congress saw a fascinating interaction between museums and video game developers. If Museums could open up to such an innovative industry, there could be significant potential for the use and resuse of heritage resources in innovative ways that engage a whole new generation. As one panelist said, memory institutions have to engage with a new generation of users that want to use digital versions of their collections in innovative ways because “the risk of irrelevance is much greater for cultural heritage organisations than budget cuts.”
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