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.

Friedrichstraße, Berlin close to the Maritim proArte Hotel where the CEPIC Congress, 2018 was held.
Friedrichstraße, Berlin close to the Maritim proArte Hotel where the CEPIC Congress, 2018 was held.

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.
Shambhavi Kadam, Group Product Manager for Adobe Stock presents during the Innovation day at CEPIC 2018 on “The Evolution of Content: The Impact of AI on the Creative Process”. The seminar showcased phenomenal innovations in image search that have been developed using Adobe Sensei (Adobe’s AI and machine learning framework).
Shambhavi Kadam, Group Product Manager for Adobe Stock presents during the Innovation day at CEPIC 2018 on “The Evolution of Content: The Impact of AI on the Creative Process”. The seminar showcased phenomenal innovations in image search that have been developed using Adobe Sensei (Adobe’s AI and machine learning framework).

The International Press and Telecommunications Council, the international body that sets and maintains the World's most widely used photo metadata standard presented at CEPIC 2018 on the emergence of their standard. More recently they have been pressing Google and other search engines to extract and display images on the internet that have embedded IPTC metadata. Such a move would make descriptive metadata available to users enabling more accurate use of images as well as an awareness of use rights and infringements of rights.
The International Press and Telecommunications Council, the international body that sets and maintains the World’s most widely used photo metadata standard presented at CEPIC 2018 on the emergence of their standard. More recently they have been pressing Google and other search engines to extract and display images on the internet that have embedded IPTC metadata. Such a move would make descriptive metadata available to users enabling more accurate use of images as well as an awareness of use rights and infringements of rights.

Scott Braut, Head of Content at Adobe presented at CEPIC 2018 on “Powering Content Velocity with Adobe” including what Adobe have discovered in terms of what makes an image valuable in terms of its purchasing power.
Scott Braut, Head of Content at Adobe presented at CEPIC 2018 on “Powering Content Velocity with Adobe” including what Adobe have discovered in terms of what makes an image valuable in terms of its purchasing power.

For the first time in the history of CEPIC, Google presented. As the World's biggest search engine granting much of the planet access to images on the internet, they found themselves somewhat in the lion's den having to answer to the leaders of the global picture industry regarding misuse of copyrighted images from professional photographers that are discovered on Google and what can be done about it. The IPTC had been engaging Google on the display of embedded image metadata. Google listened. Since this engagement, Google has introduced the display of embedded IPTC metadata with images in its image search as well as warning notices about copyright and information about fair use.
For the first time in the history of CEPIC, Google presented. As the World’s biggest search engine granting much of the planet access to images on the internet, they found themselves somewhat in the lion’s den having to answer to the leaders of the global picture industry regarding misuse of copyrighted images from professional photographers that are discovered on Google and what can be done about it. The IPTC had been engaging Google on the display of embedded image metadata. Google listened. Since this engagement, Google has introduced the display of embedded IPTC metadata with images in its image search as well as warning notices about copyright and information about fair use.

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.
Rosanne Larsen, founder of Africa Media Online's (AMO) picture library at the AMO table at CEPIC. The tables area at CEPIC provide an opportunity for agencies around the World to meet one another and set up distribution partnerships. AMO has been present at CEPIC since early 2000s and has developed a distribution network of close to 40 partners in all the World's major image markets.
Rosanne Larsen, founder of Africa Media Online’s (AMO) picture library at the AMO table at CEPIC. The tables area at CEPIC provide an opportunity for agencies around the World to meet one another and set up distribution partnerships. AMO has been present at CEPIC since early 2000s and has developed a distribution network of close to 40 partners in all the World’s major image markets.

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.”
Amerika Haus in Berlin was an institution established after the Second World War to enable Germans to engage with American culture, art and politics. In June 2018 it was hosting an exhibition of the work of American photographer, Irving Penn.
Amerika Haus in Berlin was an institution established after the Second World War to enable Germans to engage with American culture, art and politics. In June 2018 it was hosting an exhibition of the work of American photographer, Irving Penn.

Irving Penn was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th Century. He had the amazing ability to cross genres from fashion to still life. He passed away in 2009 and on the centenary of his birth a major retrospective organised by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Irving Penn Foundation was shown at Amerika Haus in Berlin. I had the privilege of seeing the show. I had not been aware that Penn had done any work in Africa. He had been sent by Vogue magazine to Benin where he not only photographed people, but the landscape and mud sculptures. He brought the same refined fashion sensibility to the capture of the local people as he did to the models he worked with in New York.
Irving Penn was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th Century. He had the amazing ability to cross genres from fashion to still life. He passed away in 2009 and on the centenary of his birth a major retrospective organised by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Irving Penn Foundation was shown at Amerika Haus in Berlin. I had the privilege of seeing the show. I had not been aware that Penn had done any work in Africa. He had been sent by Vogue magazine to Benin where he not only photographed people, but the landscape and mud sculptures. He brought the same refined fashion sensibility to the capture of the local people as he did to the models he worked with in New York.

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