By Becca Jaye Sharples on 27th November 2017

What We Learnt
At Web Summit 2017
(Part 2)

Hello Viddyozers!

And just like Arnie said, we’re back.

Part 2 of our Web Summit learnings covers all things innovation in video, and delves into the ‘everyday journalist’.

So if you’re looking for what will make your videos CUTTING EDGE or if you’re always the one capturing the latest story in video, then we’ve the tips for you – straight from Web Summit 2017!

So carrying on from lessons 1 & 2, here we go!

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Well, you can’t attend a conference of over 60,000 people and expect to see same old same old.


Every one of the 4 pavilions and every stage was jam packed with exciting projects. Some were looking ahead ten years, and others were already in process.

From AI to holographs we saw video and visual content stacking up as a hot topic. If you’re looking to develop your video content, 2018 will play host to developments in interactive video from automated messages all the way up to animated avatars.

Hello, hologram: Human content in the age of AR/VR with 8i’s Steve Raymond. Source Web Summit FB.

We’re currently on the breaking of a new dawn – a new era in innovation and tech – either we will learn from software, or software will begin to learn from us.

Scary thought huh?

Well it’s not to say robots will take over the world by 2020, but it’s interesting that new innovation has come in what some at Web Summit referred to as a third wave.

By this, they say the first two waves included the browser which revolutionised the web.

Followed closely by the likes of iPhone and in turn phone apps which were much more powerful in many ways than web applications.

And the third wave? Well that looks to be platforms and messengers in bot forms, where we converse, skill share and skill build with the back and forth of human and software conversations.

Dennis Mortensen is CEO of who develop AI assistants that sound like human beings. So much so, it can trick users into thinking they’re messaging with a fellow person.

His example is a software they have made which is cc’d into your email chat with someone who wishes to set up a meeting with you.

Software name ‘Amy’ removes you from the chat and has independant negotiations with the person contacting you and aligns your personal calendar to accommodate both parties.

He says no one enjoys booking in meetings and managing calendars and that given the choice we would all like to ask someone to handle this, and in some cases staff would be hired for this position.

This development of ‘Amy’ and male voiced counterpart ‘Andrew’ was not to ‘solve a calendar challenge’ but to ‘replicate the experience’.

This didn’t just open our eyes to the development in AI and the humanising of technology.

What it showed us is that innovation is not working to create luxury aspects to our lives that are available to buy ‘one day’. But instead, it’s showing that this is not a luxury, but that this is very easily within grasp – to make life easier for everyone with an email account one day.

They’re using AI development to turn expensive services into one day being an automated given.


We’ve seen them snowball in growth in recent years, but 2017 has been THE year of the everyday journalist.

According to a report for the National University of Sciences and Technology from Sajid Umai, 45% of Americans personally own a smartphone. Among those, 36% of them get daily news on their devices.

But how much of this ‘news’ comes from established sources, verses here-say from everyday citizens. Apparently, not as much these days.

This is reflected in the decrease of traditional news viewing on television and print media.

In relation to their social media presences too, ‘The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygu on the Content Makers stage at this years Web Summit said:

“ESPN lost 12 million subscribers in the last 12 months. TV has lost 40% of it’s under the age of 25 within the last 6 years…”

You can watch this talk here in full.

But why? Surely news channels are a trustworthy way to digest global news and developments?

Apparently not.

Uygu goes on to say: “the worst branch of journalism is neutral journalism”.

Comparing it to the objective reporting of the sports world for example he says:

“If Manchester United played Real Madrid, objective journalism says one side won 2-1. Neutral journalism says ‘Real Madrid says they won, Manchester United says they won – I guess we’ll never know!’. That would be preposterous…”

Knowing our traditional news sources are ever backing away from this objective approach, those looking to be informed turn to more online and independant options.

This opens up a big ‘ol can of worms of what we know today as ‘Fake News’.

With stories lasting 15 minutes, to 4 days, to 6 years – it’s not only possible to drop false information fast, but it can have a lasting effect on those in the story or those who read it.

But alarmingly there seems to be a much more aggravated labelling of ‘fake news’ – so what is it?

In an interview at Web Summit with Channel 4’s Ian Katz, The New York Times’ Joseph Kahn replies to claims that President Trump labels his publication as full of fake news.

Disputing this and replying that fake news is now just an insult to throw at news stories that people don’t like, he says;

“Donald Trump has elevated the issue of fake news, but his definition of it…is fake. [It is] a very identifiable thing, news or information that is created to resemble news but [it is] fraudulent content created with the purpose of going viral… usually for a political purpose [which has] no factual basis.”

Talk in full here.

So there’s fake news, and then there’s you and me capturing the inside story on the ground.

Those with a radar for detecting fake news can be difficult to convince by a vigilante journalist with a smartphone and a Facebook status too.

But should we take more notice of these emerging everyday reporters who are often far from fake news?

Let’s look at protests and rallies in the last 12 months.

Live streaming and videos captured from demonstrations of violent officers. And on the other side, assaults on public services trying to protect us. Both visuals are becoming incredible traffic magnets.

The front line of reporting has become the everyday citizen, as the raw video footage uploaded straight to social has a believability missing from our neutral sources broadcasting from stuffy news rooms.

If you’re looking to bring video to the forefront of what you offer, or have some incredible footage you know will be a hit – it’s time to step it up with your presentation.

There has never been a better time to grow your channel with opinion pieces and current affairs.

The end