Touchcast, a virtual events company, has unveiled the world’s first AI-fuelled event platform. It’s a familiar trend now. Covid renders obsolete an industry’s established modus operandi, and suddenly a market share redistribution is afoot, with the spoils going to whoever comes up with the best digital solution.
The initial substitute for in-person events was a large meeting, with attendees (hopefully) on mute, the panel speaking through webcams, and a moderator handling the Q&A. Many have found this unsatisfactory.
Touchcast’s product offers a higher quality of interaction. Cluttered living room and kitchen backgrounds are circumvented by placing panellists in a mixed-reality presentation set without requiring a greenscreen. Unreliable webcam quality is polished up to 4K with neural upscaling.
These innovations are made possible by NVIDIA’s Maxine platform. It’s a GPU-accelerated software development kit (SDK) for applications like video conferencing that includes all of NVIDIA’s Broadcast Engine’s tools. The Video Effects SDK uses pre-trained deep learning models to turn webcam input into high-quality, professional output. Details are sharpened and enhanced, artifacts and noise are removed, and backgrounds are replaced. Similarly, the Audio Effects SDK eliminates background noise and echo while preserving the speaker’s voice.
Novel features will keep Touchcast competitive when restrictions lift
Digital events solutions should not simply seek to replicate the attractions of their in-person counterparts; they should also offer novel features that in-person events cannot. This is where companies stand to gain the most. The disruption caused by Covid-19 represents an opportunity for companies to further their competitive position more than they otherwise could have.
Touchcast’s platform automatically creates trailers with text versions. Speakers’ words are recorded, transcribed, and translated into other languages. The translated transcripts are dubbed onto the original presentation. The transcripts are converted into subtitled, segmented articles. All this is done entirely by AI.
These features are irreplicable in-person and will mean Touchcast’s platform will continue to be a competitive option even after restrictions lift. And that’s not to mention the less flashy, but equally attractive benefits of online conferencing: reducing logistical fees by orders of magnitude, making presentations rewatchable, and allowing massively increased attendance.
Companies who innovate within online events technology stand to capture a share of a huge and eager market. Many have said that Covid-19 has precipitated a decade of digital disruption in one year. Companies who take advantage of this disruption will succeed. Those who do not will fail.