Leonardo - one time video coding researcher, standardisation veteran and entrepreneur
I received a high-school education that gave me a Western classic imprint (Salesian Lyceum Valsalice, 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 for consumers to seamlessly communicate and industry operate in a global market of interoperable products, services and applications. I conceived this organisation in 1987, established it in 1988I, and call it called Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). MPEG has ushered in the digital media age with such standards as MP3, MPEG-2 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 had kept it hostage to their interests impeding its technical development and keeping it locked to outmoded Intellectual Property licensing models. Industry has been strangled, use of standards delayed and consumers of the benefits of new technology.
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 an organisation developing standards based on powerful technologies, overcoming stagnation and licensing stalemates.
The book Even the stars die tell the MPEG story from birth to death and the MPAI story from birth to growth to death. The book Towards Pervasive and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence tells the MPAI story in its first 15 months of life: 5 standards produced and 7 projects under way.