USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab (AIL) was founded in 2010 to study the transformational impact of technology on culture and on the media industries. The Lab is involved in three main kinds of activities: research on the overall media landscape and its impact on society; design challenges to promote the development of innovative prototypes, applications and business ideas; and workshops that bring together students, faculty, artists, executives and entrepreneurs to discuss specific problems and come up with new ways of addressing them.
The Lab has a number of industrial partners, including technology and communication companies like IBM, Verizon and Cisco, and media companies like Warner Bros, Paramount and BET. I’ve been a member of AIL’s Advisory Board since its founding. For a technologist like me, it’s been a unique opportunity to learn about the impact of technology on society through the lens of the culture being transformed. It’s also been an opportunity to learn about the major changes underway in the media industries, - among the industries most disrupted by the digital revolution.
A few months ago, AIL launched The Edison Project, to “explore how the new creators and makers, the new metrics and measurement, the new funding and business models, and the new screens are all combining into a new ecosystem – and how media and entertainment companies can reorient themselves to flourish in this emerging Imagination Economy.”