Perceptive Media presentation at the EBU, Copenhagen

Copenhagen

I really enjoyed my time in Copenhagen… It kind of reminded me of a combination of Berlin, Amsterdam and Stockholm. I had wished I had more time there for many reasons.

Copenhagen Archtecture

So what was I doing there? Well me and Tony Churnside were asked a while after that presentation at SMC_MCR by the European Broadcasting Union (they run the Eurovision song contest I’ve heard) if we would offer a unique look at a possible future for broadcasting. Originally we said no because the idea wasn’t fully formed (hence the early thinking) but it became clear we might have a demo which we could maybe show. That demo of course is still under-wraps and we hope to reveal it to the world soon enough (keep an eye on the BBC R&D Blog for more details). It was well received and it certainly got people thinking, talking and wanting much more. And yes it is Perceptive Media

EBU campfire reference

On top of doing the presentation and heading up a question and answer session with Tony, we got a good chance to see the rest of the summit and speak to many TV related people. Its amazing what our European public broadcaster friends are doing. Thanks to the always busy but super smart Nicoletta Iacobacci (who also uses troublemaker in her job title) from the EBU who was the one who invited us and made us feel very comfortable. Of course the amazing Mia Munck Bruns, who I had the joy of sharing my love for good cocktails with on the last night.

Cocktails in Copenhagen

We also got to see parts of Copenhagen but we were mainly in Ørestad. I could only see the one of the moutain dwellings  as talked about in the Channel4 documentary recently from a far, but it looked very impressive. And to be honest the architecture and design effort in Copenhagen was amazing… It was like walking through Stockholm or the pages of Inhabatit.

When we first arrived (our flight was 2 hours delayed) I had a massive headcold and couldn’t hear out of my right ear due to not flying well. But we walked straight into a session involving media study students and TV producers. It was run by Nicoletta and reminded me of when BBC Backstage invited the people behind UK Nova in to meet the BBC. The students explained there media habits and the TV producers tried to make sense of it all.

The thing which shocked me was the lack of twitter usage in Denmark. The students talked about using Facebook as we use Twitter. Google Plus never really came up ever. The 2/4 screens meme came up time and time again. And a few of the TV producers started getting irate why the students were treating TV like radio or as I prefer wallpaper.

They couldn’t understand why they have the screen on if there not watching it. Little disagreement broke out saying they should be watching what they broadcast. Well what followed was some ice words on both sides… As usual, as I’ve heard all my life. The students media habits were dismissed as early adopters. I asked if any of them created there own media rather than just consumed and shared? Very few did (maybe one) further indicating there not early adopters but just the norm.

Fantastic session along with

During the trip the EBU treated us to a series of lovely dinner including one at a amazing Opera Hall.

Opera House

Unfortunately the way to the opera hall was via boat which isn’t exactly great for me. But I made it even with Tonys teasing…

The rest of the conference was dominated by TV as you’d expect and there was some real interesting things from other public European partners including Äkta människor or Real Humans

In a parallel present the artificial human has come into its own. Robots no longer have anything robot-like about them. New technology and advancements in the field of science have made it possible to manufacture a product – a kind of mechanized servant – that is so similar to a real human that it can often be considered a perfectly good substitute. The Human Robot (HUBOT) have also given rise to new problems and dilemmas. Thorny legal questions have increasingly started to occupy people’s minds and are still waiting to be answered: Who is responsible for the actions of a hubot? Do hubots have some form of “hubot rights”? Should they be paid for their work? As an ever growing number of people form relationships with hubots, the boundaries between human and machine become blurred. When humans make copies of themselves, which are so close to the real thing they form emotional bonds, the questions arises – What does it really mean to be ‘human’?

Looks like one to watch for sure…

Great to experience Copenhagen and see that crazy bridge/tunnel to Sweden from the plane.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.