News Stories

Synthetic Media Summit June 8 at USC


The Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California held its inaugural Synthetic Media Summit on June 8 on the USC campus to chart the course of AI-driven future.  As artificial intelligence promises to change the way media content is produced, distributed and consumed, even altering the nature of media itself, are we fully ready?  This high-level event included top AI experts and media executives who discussed the state, media use cases, and ethics of synthetic media for the news and entertainment industries.

The Speakers:

  • Dr Morten Bay, Lecturer / Research Fellow, Center for Digital Future (USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism)
  • Yves Bergquist, AI Researcher / Director, AI & Blockchain project (ETC@USC)
  • Stella Biderman, AI Ethics Researcher (
  • Elizabeth Daley, Dean, USC School of Cinematic Arts
  • Laura Davis, Associate Professor, Professional Practice (USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism)
  • Angela Dunning, Partner (Cooley LLC)
  • Laura Ellis, Head of Technology Forecasting (BBC R&D)
  • Emilio Ferrara, Associate Professor, Communication, Computer Science and Preventive Medicine (USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism)
  • Anthony Guarino, EVP, Global Production & Studio Technology (Paramount)
  • Evo Heyning, Executive producer/ CEO (Realitycraft)
  • Melody Hildebrant, CISO (Fox Corp )/ President (Blockchain Creative Labs)
  • Renard Jenkins, SVP, Production Integration & Creative Technology Services (Warner Bros. Discovery)
  • Julianna Kirschner, Lecturer, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
  • Dr Mark Lemley, Professor, Director of the Program in Law, Science & Technology  (Stanford University)
  • Ryan Luu, Director of Product, CoreUX & Personalization (The Washington Post)
  • Dr Gary Marcus, Author, Entrepreneur, and Professor of Psychology (NYU)
  • Margaret Mitchell, Chief Ethicist (Hugging Face)
  • Sanjay Pandit, CTO (Creative Artists Agency)
  • Jennifer Peterson, Associate Professor of Communication / Director, Graduate Certificate in Science and Technology Studies (USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism)
  • Nikki Pope, Head of AI Legal (NVIDIA)
  • Nikola Todorovic, Founder & CEO (Wonder Dynamics)
  • Ken Williams, Executive Director, Entertainment Technology Center at USC
  • Simon Yuen, Sr Director (NVIDIA Omiverse)


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  • To advance technology and innovation within the entertainment industry
  • To provide a neutral setting for the entertainment industry, technology and electronics companies and to identify and discuss pressing issues
  • To understand the impact of technology on the consumer experience and the creative process
  • To connect and leverage the University of Southern California’s extensive research facilities, faculty and student body with companies
  • To provide insight about emerging consumer habits
  • To convene industry peer groups and partners to share knowledge and experience
  • To create an environment for testing and evaluation of proposed technology solutions
  • To help identify new business models for the entertainment industry
  • To improve the consumer experience and advance the art of entertainment as the 21st century unfolds

ETC Events

ETC/Sprockit Symposium  (Panels and 1:1 Start-ups – Invitation Only)
(February 29)

ETC Quarterly Board Meeting (closed meeting)
(March 6)

ETC Quarterly All Members Meeting (closed meeting)
(March 21)