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 Quarterly Board Meeting (closed meeting)
(March 6)

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