will.i.am to Discuss AI, Future of Creativity at Edinburgh TV Festival

The Edinburgh TV Festival has unveiled will.i.am and producer Warren Littlefield (The Handmaid’s Tale, Fargo, Dopesick) as first big-name speakers for its 2024 edition this summer.

Clarkson’s Farm executive producer Andy Wilman will also appear at the 49th Edinburgh TV Festival in August.

“The speakers also feed into two new areas of expansion that have been introduced to look at the future of the industry in a practical and inspiring way,” organizers said. In an addition to the regular Spotlight Sessions, panel discussions and program masterclasses in Edinburgh, new creative director Rowan Woods is looking to expand the event’s international focus and also launching a new strand called Frontiers, which “celebrates creativity, convergence and new forms of storytelling.”

In its first year, the Frontiers strand will feature will.i.am in conversation with Alex Connock, an academic in media and artificial intelligence at Oxford University, about the future of creativity and what role AI will play in it. “With his ground-breaking work as the founder and CEO of FYI, a trailblazing web 3.0 AI creative productivity platform, will.i.am is uniquely positioned to offer invaluable insights into AI’s impact on content creation, distribution and audience engagement,” organizers said.

Littlefield, the former network chief and architect of NBC’s “Must See TV” era, developing and overseeing such series as Friends, Seinfeld, ER and Cheers, will be speaking out in Edinburgh during an “In Conversation” session. “Now forging a new career as a producer of high-end drama, Littlefield is behind multi-Emmy and Peabody Award-winning shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, Fargo, Dopesick, The Old Man, and the forthcoming Amanda Knox drama co-produced by Knox and Monica Lewinsky,” the Edinburgh team highlighted. “Littlefield’s career has mirrored many of the big shifts in the industry and he will be discussing the evolutions, the current state of scripted drama, talent relationships and where the next big shows will come from.”

Said Woods: “It’s such an exciting moment for me to be able to unveil our first session announcements for the 2024 festival. They hint at three of our key priorities this year: expanding our international programming, reflecting the increasingly porous boundaries between TV and other sectors and the creative opportunities this brings, and celebrating the success and impact of U.K. talent and program-making.”

The Edinburgh TV Festival takes place Aug. 20-23.

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