Technology Record - Issue 32: Spring 2024

122 Microsoft is also committed to an ethical approach to the new technology, proactively addressing concerns that have been raised about the potential impact of AI. The company’s Copilot solutions are specifically intended to enhance the work of people, rather than replace it, explains Crownshaw. “Understanding how AI can work well with humans is a key part of Microsoft’s philosophy,” he says. “If we can let somebody free up 40 per cent of their time because suddenly they have information and tools readily available to them through AI, they can gain hugely from an operational perspective.” While AI may now be at the heart of many innovations, other technologies are also making an impact on the media industry. The transition towards cloud-based operations is not just providing a foundation for AI services, it’s also helping to reimagine the process of content creation, delivery and engagement. Crownshaw says new technologies can integrate and influence each other to deliver transformation. “What we’re really talking about is an integrated microservices platform and ecosystem that enables you to go from being a fragile media company to being an agile one,” says Crownshaw. “None of these technologies can stand on their own without others to enable them. AI will influence the development of other technologies, and those technologies will conversely have an impact on AI too.” As the media industry moves into the future, companies may uncover unexpected opportunities to take advantage of existing assets, says Crownshaw. “More than anything, people are going to start to realise the value of their data, as more first-party data is used to train large language models,” he says. “The monetisation of that data is going to be key. I think most organisations are now in the process of investigating their data to understand where it’s located and how their overall data system looks so that they’re prepared to take full advantage of AI.” Microsoft works closely with its customers to ensure that they can choose the right tools to meet their specific needs. “We don’t just look at the process from a technology perspective,” says Crownshaw. “We’ll work to understand their culture, their resources, how they’re going to scale it and where it will fit within their ecosystem. I think Microsoft is very good at being a partner for our customers in not only choosing the right technology, but also supporting them in their long-term strategies. The way we’ve taken the lead in AI has showcased our ability to choose the right strategy.” Competition to take the lead in providing solutions powered by new technology is fierce. Crownshaw believes that those companies that focus on delivering constant improvements to their solutions will be the most successful in rising above the competition. “The landscape around AI-driven solutions over the past 12 months has been highly dynamic,” says Crownshaw. “The most successful companies will be those that consistently adapt and innovate around AI, delivering valuable solutions to customers while upholding ethical standards. What Microsoft has done in developing the Copilot solutions, taking advantage of the infrastructure and tools we have in place from the cloud, is game changing. As a result, I think we’re going to be well positioned to do an amazing job at meeting our customers’ needs. It will be interesting to see how the landscape shifts across the cloud providers and the partners who take advantage of media’s industrial revolution moment.” FEATURE “ The most successful companies will be those that consistently adapt and innovate around AI”