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Friday, June 14, 2024

Seven Pushes Tech Boundaries with Ignite Innovation Initiative

The Seven Network has announced the results of the second round of its flagship innovation initiative – Ignite – which saw seven employee-led generative AI concepts selected for prototype development. A three-week event, Ignite brings together internal cross-functional teams of engineers, data scientists, product managers, and staff from across the business to collaborate and develop ideas that push boundaries and advance Seven’s offerings and capabilities. The latest series saw a record number of volunteer participants from across Seven, with nearly 60 ideas put to a company-wide vote. The top seven concepts were then selected for prototype development, vying for the top prize. The winner receives further development and integration into Seven’s products and services.

Ignite started in 2022, with the latest event focused on generative artificial intelligence in sport across the 7plus platform, using tech partner Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) suite of resources to create the best user and client experience. The Ignite teams combined their diverse skills and backgrounds to develop innovative ideas set against tight deadlines. After building initial prototypes, the teams received specialised coaching from AWS architects.

The judging panel for the recent Ignite event included Nina Walsh, Head of Media & Entertainment Business Development, Asia Pacific, Japan & Americas, AWS; Lucinda Gemmell, Seven’s Chief People and Culture Officer; 7SPORT Digital Executive Producer Tara Carlon; and Rachel Page, Seven’s Network Digital Sales Director. Taking the top honours was Preview Town, a groundbreaking development concept which delivers a series of short trailer previews when a user selects a piece of content. Led by Liz De Nobrega, the winning team included Luke Jensen, Andrew Green, David Van Oosterom, Rakib Dewan, Aaron Bush, Stefan Creovina, Zinnia Wang, Safeera Kuttiyoth and Marcus Torre.

Seven’s Director of Product Solutions, Will Everitt, said: “Seven is known for its industry-leading team of top engineers and Ignite is testament to our commitment to developing our technology talent. By bringing together engineers with staff from diverse functions and backgrounds, Ignite encourages collaboration across traditionally siloed parts of the business. Engineers work directly with sports journalists, commercial teams and people from other departments to gain insights into challenges from different perspectives.

“The Ignite program highlights Seven’s focus on fostering innovation across its business. By the end of each Ignite event, participants have a deeper knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of emerging technologies. They learn how to scope projects, realistically based on available resources and timeframes. This increased technical literacy among non-engineers fosters a shared language and more productive partnerships across Seven.”

Nina Walsh said: “On behalf of AWS, we commend the Seven West Media leadership team for their continued investment in growing cloud skills across the teams. The development of talent, combined with the innovative and collaborative culture, produced some impressive results.

“It was inspiring to see how the creative groups used AWS services, bringing their concepts to life by leveraging our latest AI and ML technologies, including Amazon Bedrock. The calibre of concepts presented for judging was truly bar raising! I’m excited to see the next phase of prototypes as we continue our partnership with the talented team at Seven West Media.”


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