Exclusive: Fremantle creates SVP of AI & automation role, Tom Hoffman appointed

China’s Got Talent

Fremantle has named long-standing exec Tom Hoffman to a new role overseeing how artifical intelligence (AI) can be applied to its global business, TBI has learned.

Hoffman becomes SVP of AI & automation at the RTL Group-owned company, with a remit to delve into possible uses of AI across all facets of the business around the world.

Tom Hoffman

Tom Hoffman

The exploratory position will see Hoffman search out potential tools that could assist Fremantle’s vast production and distribution operations, which stretch across 27 countries, although TBI understands these will be ‘supplementary’ to its existing operations.

Fremantle produces across all genres and owns a catalogue that runs to more than 40,000 hours, ranging from dramas such as Little Bird and Platform 7, to factual series including Whales With Steve Backshall and formats such as Got Talent and Idol.

Hoffman, who is based out of New York, has been with Fremantle for almost 17 years and was most recently SVP of digital & social media for the company, having been appointed VP in 2015.

Prior to that, he was co-founder of The Pet Collective and also worked for Stiletto Television.

AI’s impact on TV remains in its nascent stages, but there are myriad potential applications across most areas of the business, with Netflix recently making headlines by advertising a AI-focused new role to adapt the its algorithms to assist viewing choices.

However, AI is not altogether new, with the BBC among those using AI-related tech to create programmes that helped producers and schedulers unlock value from its library more than five years ago.

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