Artificial Intelligence and Video Streaming

How Artificial Intelligence Brings Real Benefits to Video Streaming

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a term that has inspired some intimidation, which is understandable, as most people’s first exposure to AI has been in fiction, with antagonists like Skynet and HAL. However, real AI technology is not some omniscient, omnipotent being – nor is it malevolent. Modern AI technology is an effective tool to help optimize many workflows, especially in video streaming.

In this post, we are going to give a brief overview of modern Artificial Intelligence, its unique benefits, and how it can be used to improve your video streaming workflows.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

At its core, Artificial Intelligence uses computers to imitate “human” thinking and decision-making. And while the technology is still a ways away from the independent personalities we have seen in science fiction, (sometimes referred to as ‘General AI,’ a full imitation of a human,) the computational power of these systems is enabling AI to tackle challenges that humans could not before, such as increasingly complex calculations.

AI technology is of course, evolving, to not only be programed to perform functions, but also improve the way that its algorithms function. Machine Learning (ML) is sometimes used interchangeably with AI, but that’s not entirely accurate. ML is actually a rather narrow subset of AIand is more focused on independent learning. ML is designed to “learn” from past experience, and can adapt its own algorithm accordingly, to improve its performance.   

Why Do We Use AI?

The big advantage of AI is that while it can imitate human-like thinking, it is not human. It does not tire, nor does it become distracted, which is why AI shines in applications that require repetitive tasks, such as observing the results of multiple tests with a large data set.

There is also an immense value in the computational power of machines. They can simply process a larger quantity of information, quicker than the human mind can. This gives AI the ability to go through great volumes of video much quicker than humans – as a result, an AI can make observations and make relevant decisions much quicker than previously before.

How Does this Help in Video Streaming?

AI is an ideal solution for optimizing video streaming workflows. This would be a significant boon for those within the video streaming industry, from broadcast to enterprise, as one of the key results of this optimization is cost savings. One of the important ways that AI can do this is by calculating bitrate to optimize bandwidth usage while maintaining an appropriate level of quality. This is something that simply cannot be done by hand; there is too much information to process in the time before network conditions (which are constantly in flux) change again.

The video streaming world is also looking at something called “content-aware encoding” in which an AI can understand what kind of content is being streamed, and optimize bitrate, latency, and protocols, accordingly, whether it’s a quick-moving sports match or a more static “talking head” monologue.

Artificial Intelligence is being used in both live and VOD streaming workflows, and is already saving video streamers serious money by optimizing their bandwidth use. Would you like to learn more about how AI can help your streaming workflows? Take a look at our Haivision Lightflow Solutions for encoding and multi-CDN delivery.

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