Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Pilot Announces Winners of the 2020 Innovation Challenge

NAB challenge will fund two teams to build working AI prototypes

Pilot, NAB’s technology innovation initiative, announced the winners of its fourth annual Pilot Innovation Challenge. The program will provide support to the winners to develop an AI prototype for Pilot in order to enhance broadcasters’ audience engagement.

Individuals, teams, companies, academic institutions and nonprofit organizations submitted concepts to address the challenge prompt to “build an AI character that can have conversations with individual viewers, listeners or consumers.”

This year’s winners are:

  • DeepTalk: A Conversational Agent for Broadcasters — Michigan State University: NextGen Media Innovation Lab, College of Communication Arts and Sciences; i-PRoBe Lab, Department of Computer Science and Engineering; WKAR Public Media. DeepTalk is a conversational agent, like Siri, that can be trained through deep learning to deliver news in the voice of a local broadcaster.
  • Jukebot — University of Minnesota: Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Jukebot is a chatbot API capable of answering simple questions and getting feedback from users for music stations.

Pilot is allocating a total of $150,000 between the two winners. Winners will also receive relevant mentorship, feedback during development and a trip to the 2020 NAB Show to demonstrate their prototype.

Innovation Challenge finalists included:

  • AI-Driven Interactive News on Mobile Devices — Embody Digital
  • Leveraging Conversational AI to Grow Audience, Deepen Engagement and Shape Content Strategy — University of Georgia: Department of Statistics, Institute for Artificial Intelligence; Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication New Media Institute
  • Kuralt.AI: 3D Broadcast Avatar — University of North Carolina: Reese News Lab, Hussman School of Journalism and Media

Pilot Executive Director John Clark said NAB looks forward to working with the winners to develop their prototypes and ultimately provide broadcasters the ability to better serve their communities through AI.