Industry veteran charts new path integrating AI into smart TV

In a world where technology is rapidly evolving, Jack Gao is once again at the forefront, this time leading the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into smart TV. A pioneer with

a long history of working alongside business magnates such as Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and Wang Jianlin, Gao's latest endeavor is set to shape the current high-tech era.

Jack Gao poses for a picture at the booth of ZEASN at IBC2023 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Sept. 15, 2023. [Photo provided to]

Gao has a proven track record in co-founding or joining startups, such as Smart Cinema, which offers the latest movie releases via a smartphone app. Earlier this year, he took on the roles of director and chairman of the strategic committee at the world's leading smart home ecosystem operator ZEASN.

Founded in 2011 in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen and now headquartered in Singapore, ZEASN has accumulated rich industry-related experiences and is committed to creating smart home experiences for global users, including businesses in China. Gao's association with ZEASN is already making waves in the tech world as his leadership is set to turbocharge the firm's strategic trajectory and speed up the company's globalization.

He outlined the evolution of the internet in distinct phases over the decades to He described Web 1.0 as the "internet of information," where information was primarily one-directional, similar to a vast "public library." In contrast, Web 2.0 became the "internet of sociality," promoting two-way interactions and allowing users to both "read" and "write," like a universal "public publisher." Now, Web 3.0 represents the "internet of value," a platform where information isn't just "read and written" but also "owned," analogous to a global "public digital bank."

One of the key elements is AI. On March 14, Gao was captivated by the capabilities of GPT-4 while watching a livestreamed press conference on the chatbot. His excitement persisted for an entire week, which led him to consult industry insiders to develop a deeper understanding of the technology. After months of reflection, the executive has gained even greater clarity about the future.

In September, at IBC2023 in Amsterdam, Gao showcased ZEASN's groundbreaking approach to revolutionizing smart TV. He emphasized how AI can turn televisions into intelligent hubs, combining user-centric features with AI-powered enhancements. With AI at the helm, he explained, traditional smart TV is poised to evolve, becoming more personalized and intuitive.

"AI has the capability to transform traditional smart TV experiences into personalized and intuitive journeys for users," said Gao, the former president of Microsoft China and interim CEO of Hollywood's Legendary Pictures. "Driven by machine learning algorithms and data-driven insights, AI can understand viewers' preferences, habits and interests. This invaluable knowledge enables the creation of tailored content recommendations, enhancing user engagement and satisfaction."

Further highlighting his commitment to innovation, Gao unveiled Whale OS 4, ZEASN's next-gen AI-integrated operating system, during the event. Built on the tenets of Web 3.0 and powered by AI large language models, the platform promises to redefine user experience.

Whale OS, a component of the larger Whale Ecosystem, was ZEASN's innovative venture from 2018. The ecosystem has now partnered with leading brands such as Philips, Netflix and Amazon, paving the way for unparalleled digital entertainment experiences worldwide.

Back in August, ZEASN also announced it had acquired Foxxum GmbH, a premier provider of innovative CTV solutions, and rlaxx TV GmbH, an international AVOD/FAST streaming service. These acquisitions aim to bolster the company's strengths and chart its future course.

September proved to be a busy month for Gao. Beyond IBC2023, he and his ZEASN team also left notable impressions at Germany's IFA 2023 and IAA Mobility (IAA 2023). Their showcases at these venues reiterated ZEASN's dedication to transforming entertainment landscapes. At IFA 2023, the team articulated their vision for entertainment, enriched by insights from industry stalwarts Ronny Lutzi and Dirk Wittenborg. Meanwhile, at IAA 2023, ZEASN unveiled its blueprint for the automotive sector, highlighting trailblazing in-car entertainment solutions that seamlessly mesh with smartphones and other devices, aiming to deliver intuitive, customized and undistracted content experiences for users on the go.

However, the road ahead will feature more than just entertainment. Gao envisions a paradigm shift. "The 'AI' moment for smart TV is not merely a buzzword, but a transformative paradigm shift that promises to redefine the way we engage with content and unlock unprecedented possibilities for the future of entertainment," he noted.

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