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Turning information into valuable data: how GrayMeta is tapping the power of AI and ML to transform the content supply chain

Wed 12, 12 2018

This article has been taken from issue 107 of the IABM Journal. The full Journal can be accessed here.

Matt Eaton

General Manager, EMEA, GrayMeta

We spoke to Matt Eaton, General Manager, EMEA at GrayMeta about the company’s dynamic launch into the broadcast and media industry and how its AI-powered technology is helping its customers turn information into valuable data to help drive their businesses forward.

Tell us a little about the history of GrayMeta –when it was formed and why?

GrayMeta™ was formed in 2015. Our team is comprised of highly accomplished engineers and entrepreneurs formerly with Oracle, Sony, ADP, Deluxe Media, Intuit and NCR – which have developed a SaaS (software as a Service) product offering generating recurring revenue from Fortune 500 customers. The solutions dramatically improve efficiencies by automating the creation of metadata with an innovative approach to extracting rich metadata from digital assets across an enterprise using machine learning and artificial intelligence.

I’m guessing the name GrayMeta has a story behind it?

Similar to how gray matter processes and provides information to the human body – GrayMeta provides vital data using artificial intelligence to increase efficiencies throughout business processes.

Please give us a brief summary of GrayMeta’s business philosophy and mission today. What drives you?

GrayMeta takes an innovative approach to create efficiencies within organizations by automating metadata creation. Leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence, the GrayMeta Platform offers the freedom to extract, store, update and add intelligence to metadata to expand search-ability across more applications, turning information into valuable data.

Give us a run-down of the solutions you offer –what problems do they solve for your customers?

GrayMeta has two main products:

1. GrayMeta Platform and Curio

GrayMeta Platform is a powerful framework to help customers tackle big data and metadata problems to save time and money. By extracting and creating metadata using machine learning and artificial intelligence, the platform delivers the data which powers our web UI, Curio. The GrayMeta Platform and Curio help solve the following customer challenges:

  • Find & use their Assets: By extracting and creating metadata using best of breed machine learning and artificial intelligence, the GrayMeta Platform delivers insights and finds key moments in their content.
  • Unify their platforms and services: GrayMeta’s open APIs make it easy for clients to integrate content metadata with other systems, such as MAM and editing platforms, across our customer’s enterprise.
  • Drive monetization of assets through existing and new channels: Using content insights to find the right moments at the right time enables our clients to drive clipsales, improve recommendations, and provide contextual advertising to generate new revenue streams.
  • Evolve to a cloud model: Many of our customers are starting their journey to the cloud and the GrayMeta Platform helps them evolve by allowing them to connect, index, and search across both on-premise and cloud-based storage.
  • 2. GrayMeta Iris™

    Iris is a studio-grade media player and quality control solution. The Iris solution enables media professionals to quickly and accurately manage production lifecycle from asset acquisition, post-production on through to approval and distribution. It solves the problem of providing a human operator with a rich set of tools that allows them to reliably review an asset’s visual and audio technical issues.

    Your Curio products tap into the power of Machine Learning to generate metadata to make huge libraries of content easily searchable. Can we expect to see the full potential of Artificial Intelligence deployed in this area, and if so, what could the extra benefits be – or has ML already taken us as far as we can go?

    We have seen huge leaps forward in terms of machine learning, a branch of AI, in the past 12 months and we expect this to accelerate in the future. For example, transcription services for regional UK English have improved significantly this year. We expect this trend to continue across visual analysis as well as audio machine learning services.

    As customers become more familiar with Machine Learning services, they want to create their own models to extract metadata that is relevant to their content. GrayMeta’s new AI Studio tool allows customers to create their own custom face recognition and logo models.

    Customers are increasingly looking to integrate machine learning into their overall content workflows. We make it easy to distribute and surface this metadata within MAM systems, editing, and workflow solutions. Content creators can streamline workflows in Adobe Premiere Pro CC with our new extension that delivers content insights via metadata created by artificial intelligence. It introduces a new level of efficiency to media workflows and allows content creators and editors to quickly find specific content within their digital assets and drop and drag editable, trimmed clips into the Adobe Premiere Pro CC sequence.

    Finally, content owners are using Machine Learning metadata in increasingly sophisticated ways to generate new revenue and automate their workflows. This often involves combining different ML data sets to generate insights – for instance, using speech to text, visual analysis, and OCR as part of a compliance use case.

    Why do your customers choose you over your competitors – what’s your secret sauce?

    Our customers choose GrayMeta because we start with their core problem – metadata – rather than focusing on the technology. We take a pragmatic approach to solving our customers metadata challenges, they benefit from our experience of an emerging machine learning landscape, and we have proven how we can deliver innovative solutions, for example, with the Sky News’ Royal Wedding coverage. We are also aware of the wider system environment and end to end workflows of our customers, allowing other systems to integrate easily with the GrayMeta Platform to support their benefit cases.

    We are passionate about metadata and excited about the opportunity that Machine Learning offers to transform the Content Supply Chain. GrayMeta has team members from diverse backgrounds, with most of them coming from media and entertainment or fintech companies. With this unique combination of expertise, we have built a solution that is incredibly user-friendly and solves media workflow challenges that our team experienced firsthand.

    Give us a few brief examples of work you’ve done for your customers and the problems GrayMeta solved for them.

    Royal Wedding Who’s Who App – Sky News collaborated with AWS, UI Centric and GrayMeta to develop the “Royal Wedding: Who’s Who” app to follow real-time updates of wedding guests as they entered St. George’s Chapel. The innovative application leveraged machine learning to enrich live video content to provide users with up-to-date insights as the event was happening. Utilizing the latest machine learning technologies to create insightful metadata of identified guests as they arrived at the events, the GrayMeta Platform used Amazon Rekognition video and image analysis services for real-time identification of Royal Wedding guests and tagged them with related biographical information.

    Videofashion – Videofashion leverages the GrayMeta Platform to enable their audience to search and license their content, especially previously unseen footage. Using best-of-breed artificial intelligence and machine learning services, the platform automatically creates temporal metadata and extracts technical metadata. Customers, worldwide, can now quickly search by year, designer, city, trends, show, clothing, celebrities, models and quotes. This ability to quickly locate specific assets within the most extensive, private-owned fashion library in the world allows Videofashion to monetize content faster than ever.

    Other customers utilize the GrayMeta Platform to automate processes and to drive new streams of revenue. Recent projects have involved using Machine Learning to streamline compliance processes and enable contextual advertising data solutions. In these projects, the GrayMeta Platform has been used to integrate with MAM systems, editing platforms, and even in-house sales systems in order to deliver a compelling business case.

    Collaboration is today a major driver for solutions in broadcast and media – not just between vendors and end-users, but also between different but complementary vendors. Your strategic alliance with BeBop Technology – which also became an IABM member this year – looks like a great example of this. Tell us what your objectives are.

    GrayMeta has a global network of strategic and partner alliances who ‘infuse’ GrayMeta into their solution so that their local clients can improve the lifetime value of their digital assets. These partnerships range from MAM vendors, Editing vendors, Cloud Service and Technology Providers, to System Integrators, reseller and referral partners, Managed Service Providers, Independent Software Vendors and partnerships with best-of-breed cognitive, AI and machine learning services providers.

    BeBop Technology is a GrayMeta ISV partner delivering the most robust and secure platform for moving media & entertainment workflows to the cloud, to host GrayMeta on the BeBop platform and develop a suite of new solutions for content owners. We are combining the GrayMeta Platform’s artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automatic metadata creation capabilities with BeBop’s powerful and highly secure cloud platform to create a complete workflow solution for compliance and quality control (QC) operations. Content editors will be able to quickly locate where changes need to be made within their content and enable sign clearance and copyright protection for motion pictures, broadcast, TV, and digital content. Rather than having to sift through large amounts of footage or match a timecode from an Excel sheet to the on-screen non-linear editing system (NLE), they will be able to see all signs, brands and logos within a new Adobe Premiere Pro module – all natively within the BeBop platform.

    Another example of where GrayMeta has recently announced a collaboration with a complementary vendor is Dell / EMC. GrayMeta connects to and unifies Dell Isilon on-premise and Elastic Cloud Storage environments, extracting technical metadata and running machine learning services against any video, audio and document file type. GrayMeta’s partnership with Dell enables Adobe Premiere Pro editors and content creators using Dell Precision workstations to simply drag-and-drop clips of editable, trimmed content directly into the Adobe Premiere sequence. This means editors can search for key moments within their connected content libraries using AI-generated insights from GrayMeta, such as people, logos, adult content, audio, or spoken phrases.

    You recently joined IABM. What are the most valuable member benefits to GrayMeta and how are they helping you grow and develop your business?

    Joining IABM gives us the ability to connect and partner with suppliers, dealers and events. It also gives GrayMeta the opportunity to participate in various white papers and publications, as well as contribute to discussions about new updates and changes within the industry. Becoming a member of IABM is extremely valuable to GrayMeta as we continue to expand in the EMEA region.

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