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Data and AI helps media group France Télévisions transform its business

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France Télévisions, the leading audiovisual group in France, has appointed Capgemini to develop its “Data and Artificial Intelligence” department based on the DAM (Data Asset Management) solution from the French start-up Perfect Memory, with the aim of continuing the ongoing modernization of its TV program production and broadcasting resources.

Operating within the technology department, the “Data and Artificial Intelligence” (“DaAI”) function was created in late 2019 to support the modernization of resources for the production and broadcasting of TV programs. Recently scooping the Technology & Innovation award 2020[1] given by the European Broadcasting Union for its assistance system used in the analysis of political debates, France Télévisions has decided to strengthen this department to be able to carry out more projects and recently conducted two tenders with this in mind.

Frédéric Brochard, Technology Director at France Télévisions says: “In 2019, I set out to create a Data and Artificial Intelligence department to unite and stimulate the company’s initiatives in these two areas concerning transformation and modernization, both of which are vital for us. Achieving greater efficiency in our processes, assisting with decision-making for our programs and channels, providing better search tools for our journalists and guaranteeing improved exposure for our content, are all areas which this department has the task of identifying and developing. To achieve this, I would like to draw upon existing expertise and best practices, and I am very proud of and confident in the relationships we have forged with Capgemini and Perfect Memory.”

The increasing prevalence of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions is today providing major benefits in the classification of audiovisual content. The fifteen or so data experts from the “DaAI” department have the task of carrying out monitoring work, testing AI solutions and producing proofs of concepts to be able to then incorporate these tools within France Télévisions’ workflows. The constantly increasing audience sizes for the France Télévisions group’s digital products is automatically ushering in new services (clearer navigation, better recommendations, a more comprehensive search from among the thousands of programs available at any time, etc.), behind which the quality and variety of the programs’ descriptive data play a key role.

Capgemini chosen to design new usage scenarios for AI applied to television

France Télévisions launched a Europe-wide public tender in April 2020 involving 25 companies or groups. At the end of this tender, France Télévisions chose Capgemini’s expertise for the organization and implementation of new projects in the fields of data and artificial intelligence applied to France Télévisions’ activities. As examples, data and artificial intelligence can be used for audience prediction purposes, looking beyond the possibilities offered by traditional measurement tools, or for the creation of decision-making tools to assist with the programs and for information purposes. Drawing upon its experience with technological transformation projects for international businesses in the media industry, Capgemini stood out for its extensive knowledge of data and AI projects performed worldwide and its capacity to put together a team of experts.

Xavier Moy, Media & Entertainment Sector Director at Capgemini in France, adds: “Capgemini is particularly proud to be supporting France Télévisions in its digital transformation. As part of our work for France’s leading audiovisual group, we will be drawing upon our international experience with media challenges and opportunities and our Data and Artificial Intelligence center of excellence to assist the different activities around their use of data.”

Cooperation with Perfect Memory for the deployment of a knowledge engineering platform

France Télévisions also selected the start-up Perfect Memory for the development of an engineering platform for the knowledge, data and content to be collected and used by the group, all these tools being aimed at information and program creation specialists.

Perfect Memory’s “DAM” product will create France Télévisions’ Data-Hub[2], a Cloud solution reserved for authorized staff and services, containing high value program data collected and enhanced by the DaAI Department, to fill the ‘Media Factory’. For the purpose of this project, DaAI handles the task of data identification and recovery (both within France Télévisions and from outside), and the AI processing and consolidation of all data in a Datalake, i.e. a cloud-based secure distributed storage area. All of the AI expertise and development needed to create this Datalake is available in-house.

Steny Solitude, founder of Perfect Memory, explained: “We are very proud to have been selected by an institution like France Télévisions for such an ambitious project. The decision by France TV to focus on the revelation and preservation of the wealth of digital assets created and managed in-house will see the group engaging in a competitive process which could eventually enable it to outperform certain major players in the digital sector. The introduction of a genuine life-cycle governance system for data and content – from its creation and monetization to its processing, enrichment and sharing – represents a genuine paradigm shift in the broadcasting world”.

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