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December 2016

Does the rise of the machines make a city innovative?

Categories: Immersive Tech (AR/VR)

Does the rise of the machines make a city innovative? Experts join the debate at the Children's Global Media summit in Manchester. 

What’s next for the likes of AI, Machine Learning, AR and VR? This hot topic will be discussed at the Children’s Global Media Summit which descends on Manchester next week. Shaped around the future of media for under 16s, the engaging programme will focus on Education, Empowerment, Entertainment, Innovation and Freedom.

Taking place in the city of innovation, Manchester is the perfect location to tackle the Summit’s Rise of the Machines panel session - 6 December - given its rich heritage of digital technology and its reputation as an international centre of excellence for TV, radio and children’s media. The panel will explore how technology is becoming integrated into every aspect of our lives, how they will transform children’s media and the lives of Generation U.

Hosted by David McClelland, Broadcaster and Technology Journalist, Rise of the Machines panellists are Dave Coplin, CEO, The Envisioners consultancy and former chief envisioning officer at Microsoft UK; Agust Freyr Takacs Ingason, Business Development Consultant and Executive Producer; Tawny Schlieski, President, Oregon Story Board; and Adam Howard, Chief Solutions Architect, Chirp.

Manchester, an industry leader which has produced children’s content for over 40 years has been instrumental in putting the UK’s creative industry on the map. Some of the world’s most highly acclaimed talent have grown within Manchester working for companies such as Mackinnon & Saunders, Brown Bag Films, TT Games and Cloud Imperium. Their work is truly international and they produce content for the likes of Disney, Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Lego, Sony and the BBC. The UK’s largest children’s commissioners CBeebies and CBBC are now headquartered in Manchester at MediaCityUK.

Dave Coplin, CEO, The Envisioners consultancy and former chief envisioning officer at Microsoft UK; said:

“Unless we fundamentally change the way we think about, engage and educate our children, we risk being derelict in our duty as the guardians of their future as we are sending them out into a world for which they are simply not prepared.

“Manchester is a truly innovative city which has been at the forefront of technology for over 200 years. It gives me great pleasure to be speaking at the Children’s Global Media Summit which provides an opportunity to help shape Manchester’s impact on the next 200 years.”

Agust Freyr Takacs Ingason, Business Development Consultant and Executive Producer, said:

“Manchester is one of my favourite places in the UK and I’m really inspired by the city’s creativity and its history of innovation. Manchester and Reykjavik have a similar spirit of dynamic collaboration in creativity and one of the ingredients of success for Icelandic film and music is the close collaboration between different genres and types of media, where everyone brings something to make things unique.

“I´m excited to be part of the Children’s Global Media Summit and talk about something I’m really passionate about which is how the way we consume media and entertainment, especially for children, is changing.

“When producing LazyTown, technology was not as it is today. Smart phones and tablets didn’t exist and the way children used and viewed media was simpler. The new AR adventure game and TV show I’m developing integrates different ways to engage with television and is very futuristic.

“It has been said that many manual jobs within the creative industry will disappear and I’ll be addressing that at the Summit. Our industry nurtures and needs great talent but the way we engage or consume entertainment and related products is about to change as we move towards a world of technology.”

Tawny Schlieski, President, Oregon Story Board, said:

“It’s great to be participating at the Children’s Global Media Summit in Manchester where I’ll be discussing the implications of new technology on education and children. With the rise of new educational interventions, like virtual and augmented reality, we have both a challenge and an opportunity to think proactively about how technology changes the way that we think. 

“From at least as far back as the written word, technology changes how we teach, how we learn, and what kind of thinking is rewarded.  For me, and my team, we believe that as we enter the dawn of a new digital age, we can imagine and execute technology in ways that enhance, encourage, and expand the thinking skills of our next generation.  Immersive technologies often privilege visual and systemic thinking over traditional linear logic, which gives rise to the possibility that an entirely different group of young people will be regarded as “naturally” talented than those who succeed now.  The implications of this are of course complicated, but it is exciting to imagine what new kinds of thinkers will emerge from this immersive future.”

Greater Manchester is a fast growing cosmopolitan conurbation, attracting an international workforce and student population.  It is now the second most visited city in the UK, with an international reputation for sport, culture and entertainment. It is regularly voted the best city to live and work in the UK, boosted by the success of its media, digital and technology cluster.

Innovative Manchester-based companies like Factory, producers of BAFTA award winning TV series Clangers, and internationally renowned Studio Liddell are developing the next generation of technology such as virtual reality, augmented reality and game changing technology, which is shaping how media is being consumed.

Tim Newns, chief executive officer, MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, said: “Hosting the Children’s Global Media Summit in Manchester for the first time is a proud moment for the city and reaffirms the strength of our creative industry.

“As one of Europe’s largest creative, digital and technology clusters, Manchester has a myriad of world-class companies working across children’s post-production, visual effects, motion capture, augmented reality, gaming, app development and digital design.

“Access to a comprehensive supply chain and 82,300 talented industry related staff across 7,500 digital and creative businesses, combined with state-of-the-art facilities, make Greater Manchester the ideal location for companies looking to create multimedia, multi-platform content for children.”

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