Leonardo - one time video coding researcher, standardisation veteran and entrepreneur
I received a high-school education that gave me a comfortable Western classic imprint (Salesian Lyceum, Maturità), an engineer’s technical education (Polytechnic of Turin, MSc in Electronic Engineering) and a cross-cultural experience (University of Tokyo, PhD in Electrical Communications).
My Christian Catholic education made and still makes me think that everybody should have a mission that extends beyond their personal interests. In my early professional years, when digital media technologies were still maturing, I saw my mission in the development of interoperable digital media technologies for society to enjoy and industry to exploit.
I needed an organisation that would create digital media standards so that consumers could seamlessly communicate and industry operate in a global market of interoperable products, services and applications. This organisation was called Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), which I conceived in 1987 and established in 1988. MPEG has ushered in the digital media age with such standards as MP3 and MPEG-4. I chaired and fostered the development of MPEG until June 2020 when I left the organisation because it had been hijacked by obscure forces. .
Today MPEG has ceased to exists. In any case, its engine had already run out of steam – technology-wise and business wise. The same obscure forces that have hijacked MPEG have kept it hostage in the last few years impeding its technical development and keeping it locked to outmoded licensing models that have strangled the industry, delayed use of standards and often deprived consumers of the benefits of standardisation.
On the 19th of July 2020 I proposed and, on 30 September, a group of 33 companies established Moving Picture, Audio and Data Coding by Artificial Intelligence (MPAI). Industry and consumers have now a better organisation who develops standards based on more powerful technologies, overcomes stagnation and licensing stalemate.
The book Even the stars die tell the MPEG story from birth to death and the MPAI story from birth to growth.