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SMF Ignite to Tackle Convergence of Data, AI and Storytelling

Singapore Media Festival’s keystone digital event, SMF Ignite, takes place on December 5. This year focuses on the theme, “The Convergence of Big Data, AI and Storytelling”, to explore how data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning could aid storytelling in many ways. SMF Ignite opens new opportunities for Asian media companies to thrive in a an environment and in a generation now driven by digital.



This year, the event comprises a discussion of the theme among industry leaders; an exhibition of companies combining data analytics, AI and storytelling; keynote speeches; and a workshop.


Popular online video creator Nuseir Yassin of Nas Daily will be conducting the video- making workshop for selected Singapore content creators with the topic “Deep Dive Into Nas Daily Metrics: How Storytelling Trumps Everything Else”. Nuseir Yassin, an Arab-Israeli travel video blogger, creates 1-minute videos daily on Facebook. He is now deemed as one of Facebook’s most successful video makers, having over 10 million followers on this social media platform. He has committed to documenting every day of his life for 1,000 days.


Also among the noted speakers is Chen Xiao, Vice President of iQIYI, one of the largest online video sites in the world. He will give his “Thoughts on the Film and Entertainment Industry under the Global Situation – Taking iQIYI as An Example” Chen Xiao is currently responsible for areas involving domestic and international copyright procurement and distribution. He previously worked at world-renowned companies such as Google, eBay, and Baidu. He joined iQIYI in 2013, working in channel sales, content marketing, and commercial operations before moving into copyright management.


Jim Louderback, General Manager of Vidcon, the world’s largest multi-genre online video conference, will talk about the topic: “Beyond Viral – Building Community-based Video Success”. Jim Louderback has 20 years’ of experience at the intersection of publishing, media and technology. He currently runs events business VidCon as an independent division of Viacom. Jim joined VidCon in 2014 as editorial director of the industry track, and took over as CEO in 2017. In early 2018 he led the sale of VidCon to Viacom. His most well-known role before VidCon was as CEO of Revision3, where he helped drive a 20-fold increase in viewers and a 12-fold increase in revenue from 2007 to 2012. In 2012, Jim sold Revision3 to Discovery Communications, where he remained as General Manager, transforming the group into Discovery Digital Networks. Building a consistent and entertaining set of videos with a real community in mind and a focus on best practices maximises the chance that one of your videos will at some point go viral.


Alex Smith, Area Lead (APAC) at Microsoft will also impart his knowledge on “Content in the Age of AI”. Alex is the Area Lead for Microsoft’s Azure Cloud, spearheading the most complex projects across Asia Pacific. His experience spanning more than a decade, includes development and go-to market strategy for many household names and their OTT platforms, including BBC, Channel 4 (UK), Astro, iFlix (MY) and Foxtel (AU). He joined Microsoft in 2017 from Amazon Web Services, where he led a cross-regional group driving Media & Entertainment for Asia Pacific. Before AWS, Alex was T echnical Director and Head of Professional Services for SwiftServe, an ASEAN focused, federated Content Delivery Network and Consultancy, and before that, Senior Technical Architect for Piksel, a video systems integrator based out of Europe.

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