MediaFutures is a proposal to establish a Centre for Research-Driven Innovation (SFI) in the area of Responsible Media Technology & Innovation. The centre will develop advanced new media technology for responsible and effective media user engagement, media content production, media content interaction and accessibility, as well as research on novel methods and metrics for precise audience understanding.
The centre is a consortium of the most important media players in Norway. The University of Bergen’s Department of Information Science and Media Studies will lead and host the centre. User partners include NRK and TV 2, the two main TV broadcasters in Norway, Schibsted, including Bergens Tidende (BT), and Amedia, the two largest news media houses in Scandinavia/Norway, as well as the world-renowned Norwegian media tech companies Vizrt, Vimond, Wolftech, Highsoft, Fonn and the global tech and media player IBM. The centre will collaborate with renowned national research institutions including the University of Oslo, the University of Stavanger and NORCE, and will work together with high-profile international research institutions, such as VU Amsterdam, the Open University UK and the University of Oxford.
Consortium partners and structure of MediaFutures SFI proposal
The centre’s thematic priorities are in the field of media audience understanding, modelling and personalisation, media content production & analysis, media content interaction & accessibility, and language technology. These thematic priorities are significantly important for further business development among the active industry partners. E.g., for NRK and TV 2, it is important to have a precise understanding of their audience to further innovate on technological products. At the same time, they also need to innovate within responsible media user engagement, which is also a particularly important issue for our news media partners Schibsted and BT. On the other hand, Vizrt, Vimond and Wolftech, all engaged in media production, require innovation in the context of novel production tools and analytics, as well as media content and accessibility approaches. For all our partners it is, in addition, important to innovate on technological solutions related to Norwegian language models. It is therefore imperative to innovate on all thematic priority areas through research on cutting-edge media technology.
Digital technology and new communication patterns in a networked society has challenged the role of editorial news media as the cornerstone of a free and democratic society. Simultaneously, the current transformations of the public sphere highlight the importance of trustworthy news media facilitating an open and enlightened public discourse. The centre will address current societal challenges including biases in AI, fakenews (and deep-fakes), echo chambers and political polarisation created through media technology.
The centre will deliver research outputs, eg in the form of patents, prototypes, papers and software, and will perform significant research training (intersectoral and international) in media technology and innovation to ensure that the outputs of the centre will also sustain and impact the media landscape in the long run, including the creation of start-up companies with an innovation-oriented mindset.