New Approach For PILOT’s Innovation Challenge

The NAB initiative will fund teams to build a working prototype and present at the 2020 NAB Show. Applicants must submit their proposal by Oct. 18.

PILOTNAB‘s technology innovation initiative, is accepting submissions for the fourth annual PILOT Innovation Challenge. New this year, the program will provide support to the winners to develop a prototype for PILOT that uses AI to enhance broadcasters’ audience engagement.

The 2019 PILOT Innovation Challenge prompt is: “Build an AI character that can have conversations with individual viewers, listeners or consumers. Broadcasters should be able to define and train the character’s personality.”

“We’re taking a new approach to this year’s challenge and look forward to the submissions,” said PILOT Executive Director John Clark. “We are intrigued with the concept of a system that allows viewers and listeners to have one-on-one conversations with stations, while providing broadcasters the ability to better serve their communities.”

Funded by PILOT, the 2019 Innovation Challenge winners will build a conversational broadcaster application and backend AI system that radio and TV stations can train with their own desired personalities and unique content.

Individuals, teams, companies, academic institutions and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply. Up to five finalists will be selected by a panel of industry experts and announced by the end of November. Applicants can review the judging criteria on the PILOT website.

Up to $150,000 in funding will be allocated to up to two winners. Winners will also receive relevant mentorship, ongoing feedback during development and a trip to the annual NAB Show, held April 18-22 in Las Vegas to demonstrate their prototype.


The deadline to apply is Oct. 18.

The Innovation Challenge is one in a series of PILOT initiatives that each support a facet of the full innovation cycle, including the ideation, validation and incubation of media and technology-focused ideas. Additional programs include Futures ParkSPROCKIT and technology and internship grants.


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