Ling Ling SunLing Ling Sun is Chief Technology Officer at Nebraska Public Media and the Chair of the 2024 NAB Broadcast Engineering and IT Conference Program Committee 

I’m excited to share some thoughts on the call for papers for the upcoming 2024 NAB Broadcast Engineering and Information Technology (BEIT) Conference , where I have the honor of serving as this year’s chair.

2024 NAB BEIT Conference Call for Proposals

In an era where technology is fundamentally reshaping content creation, distribution and consumption, it’s crucial to recognize that people—their expertise and adaptability—remain the cornerstone of this transformation.

NAB Show provides a pivotal platform for sharing knowledge, bringing together industry experts, professionals, and enthusiasts to exchange insights, best practices and invaluable lessons. The NAB BEIT Conference, as a collaborative environment, plays an instrumental role in fostering innovation and driving progress.

To demonstrate the conference’s dedication to staying at the forefront of industry trends and addressing emerging challenges and opportunities, we’re introducing two new categories for the upcoming year: “Generative AI” and “Environmental, Social And Governance (ESG) In Broadcasting.”

As the chair of NAB BEIT Conference Committee, I’d like to illuminate the reasoning behind these additions.

Generative AI, a subset of artificial intelligence, focuses on creating content—whether text, images, audio or videos—that is virtually indistinguishable from human-generated content. It employs deep learning techniques to generate original material based on patterns learned from extensive datasets.

The integration of generative AI within the broadcasting industry and information technology holds the promise to automate content generation, enhance viewer personalization and facilitate data-driven decision-making. It represents a convergence of human creativity and machine capabilities, offering unprecedented opportunities for efficiency and innovation, revolutionizing how businesses and industries approach data-driven tasks.

From a media ecology perspective, generative AI as a new medium is deeply intertwined with data/content and users. The staggering volume of data generated globally, reaching 97 zettabytes in 2022, raises legitimate concerns about potential information overload. Moreover, with 2.8% of the United States’ electricity being consumed by the data center industry, sustainability is a critical consideration, particularly in the era of expansive generative AI.

Sustainability is emerging as a global concern, not only in the data industry but also in broadcasting operations and video streaming. Research in this area can explore various avenues, including eco-friendly facility design, energy consumption reduction strategies and active contributions to broader ESG goals.

There is a pressing need to strike a balance between technological progress and responsible data stewardship to ensure the long-term sustainability of our information ecosystem. The broadcast medium can play a beneficial role in this endeavor. To maintain our position at the cutting edge of this dynamic sector, it’s imperative that we adapt and evolve.

In that sense, the introduction of new topics at this year’s NAB BEIT Conference is not merely a choice. It underscores our commitment to driving innovation, fostering knowledge exchange and preparing the broadcasting industry for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. These new topics are not isolated discussions but gateways to a brighter, more informed future for the broadcasting sector. Together, we will explore, learn and shape the future of broadcasting at the NAB BEIT Conference.